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Joe Hard

Aquatic Entomology

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Aquatic Entomology The Fishermen's and Ecologists' Illustrated Guide to Insects and Their Relatives. what a great book, ISNB: 0-86720-017-0, I have not had a chance to read any of this book yet. But glancing through it, a serious realistic or match the hatch flyfisher should own it. It has an 11 page guide to fishermans mayflies in North America, it also has 16 colour pages of insects. It describes how to catch them identify them and store them. It also goes through each insects body parts, which part of North America they are found most, and how they are relavent to a fishermen. Heavy duty, serious bug book.

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Hi Daryn-

 

You sure got that right, fantastic book. Probably reference that single book more frequently than all my other entomology books combined. It's a little pricey, but is well worth the expense.

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Taxon,

Did I not read somewhere that the Aquatic Entomology book had some errors in it of some sort. Could you confirm this and let us know what type of errors?

Thanks,

Terry

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Oh man that sounds like a book I gotta own! Thanks for the tip, I will try to get it here in sweden.

 

/Ulf

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Taxon,

Did I not read somewhere that the Aquatic Entomology book had some errors in it of some sort. Could you confirm this and let us know what type of errors?

Thanks,

Terry

Terry-

 

IPB ImageAquatic Entomology: The Fishermens Guide and Ecologists Illustrated Guide to Insects and Their Relatives, by W. Patrick McCafferty, is likely more error-free than any other entomology text I've encountered. However, it was published 25 years ago, and during the intervening years, taxonomists and systematicists have been busy learning more about aquatic insects. This additional knowledge often causes them to rethink the classification of existing species, not to mention the impact of discovering additional species.

 

Dr. McCafferty largely avoided this trap by dealing with taxonomic identification and discussion at the family (and sometimes genus) level, which are far less subject to change in taxonomic classification, than is the species level. However, two major exceptions come to mind.

 

When one creates an illustration of a whole insect, it is customarily of some particular species. Otherwise, it would simply be imaginary, and would not accurately illustrate any actual species. These illustrations are identified to species in the Index Of (whole insect) Illustrations in the front of the book. The second major exception would be the List of (Fishermen’s and Scientific) Names appearing in the Appendix at the end of the book.

 

So, the bottom line is, the body of the book was written in a manner that largely insulated it from being dated by species reclassifications. However, in the case of the Illustration Index and the Appendix, it was not practical for them to be similarly insulated.

 

To demonstrate this point for yourself, you need only click Illustrations Query (Both) , enter "(" (without the quotes) into the Taxa box, enter "McCafferty" (without the quotes) into the Author box, and click the Submit Query button. The query will return a list of illustrations for which the book-listed taxa have been re-classified.

 

Would I still recommend someone purchase a copy of Aquatic Entomology today, now 25 years following its publication? Yes, I certainly would. In my opinion, it continues to be the best book ever written for someone who is seriously interested in learning about aquatic insects and other aquatic invertebrates.

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Hey Roger,

Thanks for the information on the book Aquatic Entomology. It is on my list of books to purchase, as well as, several others that you have suggested on your web site.

 

Such as,

 

An Angler’s Guide to Aquatic Insects And Their Imitations

Hatches II

Caddisflies

Hatch Guide For Western Streams

The Complete Book Of Western Hatches: An Anglers Entomology and Fly Pattern Field Guide

 

I appreciate the information.

Thanks,

Terry

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Hey Roger,

Thanks for the information on the book Aquatic Entomology. It is on my list of books to purchase, as well as, several others that you have suggested on your web site.

 

Such as,

 

An Angler’s Guide to Aquatic Insects And Their Imitations

Hatches II

Caddisflies

Hatch Guide For Western Streams

The Complete Book Of Western Hatches: An Anglers Entomology and Fly Pattern Field Guide

 

I appreciate the information.

Thanks,

Terry

Terry-

 

You're certainly welcome. Books on aquatic entomology are wonderful; they just keep giving!

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Just to give you a heads up, there will be a 4th edition coming out this year of Merritt and Cummins; taxonomy and nomenclature will be up-to-date. Kendall/Hunt tells me it will be out this summer. Although it probably will be in the $70-80 range, it's still worth it to those who are serious about their insect identification.

Cheers, Ethan

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Ethan-

 

Hmmm. It's been less than a year since I purchased the 3rd Edition. Do you know if there are any major improvements in the 4th Edition?

 

The identification keys don't go beyond genus, so they would surely be reasonably stable. The illustration captioning contained some genus misspelling, and some have since been re-classified, but surely not in great enough number to justify a new edition. (To see what I mean, click Illustrations, key Merritt into the Author name box and click the Submit Query button.)

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I was shown this book by a biology professor, and took it out on loan from the local library. It is on my list of the books to buy. It is a good one not only for the insect identification but also for the information for the fly fisherman. Thanks for the heads up on the new editions must keep that in mind when I go to the book store to make an order.

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Well, it's really been over 10-12 years since the information has been updated. M&C 3rd Edition came out in 1996, but the information contained therein is really only to some period of 1995. Remember, the book really serves two major purposes for aquatic entomologists: 1) a generic-level text suitable for all regions of Canada and the USA; 2) a rich resource of taxonomic and ecological literature citations; and 3) a valuable and concise tabulation of ecological functions based on taxa. By and large, the taxonomy will stay reasonably stable, but not for all groups. For example, Baetidae has seen marked changes in systematics - a number of Baetis species are now grouped in Pladitus. There are numerous examples for many other groups. (As a chironomidist, the 3rd Edition is replete with problems, and Ferrington and Coffman will be integrating a lot of taxonomic revisions into the new text). Some groups probably won't see much change because taxonomic problems remain unresolved, e.g., larval keys are still on the tentative side, e.g., Ceratopogonidae (no-see-ums), because of the paucity of larval-pupal-adult associations for groups that are species-rich.

 

There will be more changes for certain areas of the country, e.g., the West Coast and the Appalachians. For example, there have been several new genera for stoneflies found only in these regions (these are reflected in Stewart and Stark's recent 2nd Edition of the Plecoptera Nymph book).

 

I've reserved with Kendall/Hunt a couple of copies, and I'll try to report to the group what are the changes we should see in the text. (Actually, there is seminar at the NABS conference in Anchorage on this topic, but I can't make that).

 

But don't get me wrong - that 3rd Edition is still a very useful text. Don't throw it away.

Cheers, Ethan

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Just went over some of the changes in taxonomy that should be reflected in the 4th Edition of Merritt and Cummins:

 

Order Family New Genus Old Genus Notes Region Reference

Plecoptera Chloroperlidae Suwallia Suwallia Revision NAm Alexander & Stewart 1999

Plecoptera Chloroperlidae Sasquaperla n/a n. gen NW Stark & Baumann 2001

Plecoptera Perlodidae Remenus Remenus rev. E Kondratieff & Nelson 1995

Plecoptera Leuctridae Pomoleuctra Paraleuctra remove sp W Stark & Kyzaar 2001

Plecoptera Chloroperlidae Nanonemoura Zapada n. gen. W Baumann & Fiala 2001

Plecoptera Chloroperlidae Suwallia Neaviperla syn. w Suwallia Alexander & Stewart 1999

Plecoptera Perlodidae Hydroperla restricted E Nelson 1996

Ephem Baetidae Baetopus n. gen. Waltz 2000

Ephem Baetidae Plauditus Baetis n. gen. McCafferty & Waltz, 1998

Ephem Baetidae Varipes n. gen. Lugo-Ortiz & McCafferty, 1998

Ephem Heptageniidae Maccaffertium Stenonema debateable E

Ephem Leptohyphidae Vacupernius n. gen.

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Ethan-

 

Interesting. Doesn't appear that my edition has been has been seriously obsoleted. Once you get a copy in hand, I'd be interested to know if there are any new information tables, etc. Thanks.

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