What’s bugging you?

It’s not often that I use this forum to write about other blogs. There are so many to choose from – good ones – that it’s hard to know where to start.  Besides, I’d rather use the limited time I have to write doing so about bugs. Given this, it might seem remarkable that I’m going to write about a blog that – as of now – has only three postings. The writer of this new blog, however, is no ordinary writer, and I expect his blog will prove to be no ordinary blog.

Dr. Arthur V. Evans hardly needs introduction in the world of entomology. His prowess as a collector of insects – especially Scarabaeidae – is legendary, but it is his talent for writing that has earned him his true renown.  While his list of research papers is impressive enough, his books are what set him apart from the rest of us.  Blending depth of knowledge with humor and a passion for his subject, Dr. Evans’ books have been equally embraced by professional entomologists and the general public alike.  His field guides (Field Guide to Beetles of California, Field Guide to Insects of North America, and Introduction to California Beetles) have helped to introduce the fabulous world of insects to nature lovers across the country, and the breathtakingly beautiful An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles (coauthored with my friend and colleague, Dr. Charles L. Bellamy) has become a staple on coffee tables around the world.  His latest book, What’s Bugging You?, is a charming collection of essays that have appeared over the years as a column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  It is also the name of his new blog, and this excerpt from its very first post suggests it will live up to the reputation of its author:

As I bent down to inspect the corpse a panicked wave of blow flies buzzed up past my face. Their tiny wings churned the air to propel their brassy green bodies out of harm’s way. But within minutes they were back. For scavengers like blow flies, life is short and the aroma of decaying flesh promising food, mates, and egg laying sites is just too much to ignore.

Dr. Evans is an artist, and words are his palette.

If you like insects, you will love What’s Bugging You? Check it out, bookmark it, and be prepared to enjoy what results when love of insects meets truly gifted writing.

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2009

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5 thoughts on “What’s bugging you?

  1. Thanks for this link Ted. Looking at what Art has done sofar, it seems like it is going to be one to keep an eye on alright. That millipede is fascinating. Okay, okay, I KNOW it isn’t a beetle but still…..!!

  2. A quick WordPress tag search on “ants” yielded 19,134 results. A similar search on “beetles” yielded only 4,856 results. Doing the same on Google yielded just over 11,000,000 hits for beetles, but this drops to 5,630,000 if the term “volkswagen” is excluded (I didn’t try excluding “Helter Skelter”). Google hits almost 18,000,000 on “ants”.

    With about 12,000 species of ants worldwide versus 300,000 (conservatively) species of beetles, that works out to roughly two to four times the coverage for a group with only 4% as many species – or, 25X-50X the coverage per species. I’d say it’s about time the beetle guys started kicking some butt! 😉

    Interestingly, a WordPress tag search using their respective scientific names (Formicidae and Coleoptera) yields exactly 92 results for both – many of the latter contributed by someone called ‘Myrmecos’ 🙂 (although I too cross-posted on ants once).


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