Insects are vitally important in our environment. Over 11 000 species of insects occur in Ireland but most are very small and escape notice. Identifying them accurately can be difficult or impossible. Insects of Ireland provides detailed descriptions of 120 species from six easily-recognised insect groups. Most general guides include representatives of all of the very many varieties of insects and do not cover all the species of any one group. More specialist books concentrate on a single insect group such as butterflies and in most cases there are no specifically Irish texts.
This comprehensive compact guide to over 120 of Ireland's most popular insects includes all Irish species of butterflies, bumblebees, dragonflies, ladybirds, grasshoppers and shieldbugs. All are illustrated in colour with clear descriptions enabling accurate identification. Designed specifically for the Irish reader with distribution maps and notes on life history, habitat and season, it is laid out in a user-friendly fashion enabling novice entomologists and anyone interested in Irish wildlife to recognise these miniature marvels. Accurate up-to-date information for each species is presented in a clear and concise style. This is a wonderful reference book ideal for anybody interested in natural history or Irish wildlife.
Dr Eugenie Regan, a professional ecologist at the National Biodiversity Centre, has published numerous articles. A regular contributor to radio shows, she has previously published an introductory guide to Irish butterflies and other insects.
Dr Stephen McCormack, a professional entomologist, has published widely on Irish beetles, wasps, butterflies, bugs, spiders and snails. One of Ireland's insect experts, he teaches on field courses and in schools.
Chris Shields, an award-winning artist and wildlife illustrator, has produced over 20 000 wildlife illustrations in over 300 books. His works are published by A&C Black, BBC Wildlife magazine, HarperCollins, Random House and environmental charities such as WWF and RSPB.
"This attractively produced book is designed as a first guide to Irish insects. An introductory section covers the insects, their importance and how to find and encourage them, with short descriptions of the 21 orders found in Ireland. Some 128 species are then described and illustrated as adults and in some instances larvae, with notes on status, habitats, seasons and key identification characters; the distribution of each species is indicated on a vice-county map. This main part of the book covers all species except vagrants of seven insect groups – butterflies, dragonflies, ladybirds, bumblebees, shield bugs, grasshoppers and earwigs. If you are interested in studying one or more of these groups this book has something for you. If, however, you wish to get to grips with other common insect groups with greater species representation such as moths, flies, and most of the bees and wasps you will need to look elsewhere."
– Graham Geen, BTO book reviews, September 2014