Recommending Reading - Invertebrates

 

Most recommended books are still in print. A small number are out of print although they can still be purchased online. Check online using title and authors. Try your local bookshop!

 

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A Guide to the Spiders of Australia

 

Volker W Framenau, Barbara C Baehr 

Paul Zborowski

 
This definitive guide to the subject, written by three experts in the field, offers a window into a fascinating world. Notorious species such as the Redback and the Sydney Funnel-web sit alongside less well known but equally intriguing spiders such as the ant-mimics and net-casting spiders.
 
The introduction covers spider structure, evolution, reproduction, silk and venom, together with peculiarities of the family within an Australian context. The two main sections of the book deal with Trapdoor Spiders and Modern Spiders, and within each section there is a chapter on each of the 80 or so spider families that occur in Australia.
 
Each is illustrated with beautiful photographs of the subjects, with more than 30 images per family for some of the larger groups such as the jumping spiders, and many rare images never before published.. Source: Publisher

 

A Guide to the Cockroaches of Australia

 

David Rentz 

 

A Guide to the Cockroaches of Australia is a comprehensive account of most of the 550 described species found in Australia. The book reveals their diversity and beauty, it looks in detail at their morphology, habitats and ecology, and explains how to collect and preserve them.

 

Importantly, it will allow pest controllers, students and researchers to reliably identify most of the common pest species as well as the non-pest cockroaches. It will also, perhaps, go some way towards elevating the reputation of these much-maligned insects, and promote further study of them. Source: Publisher

The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia

 

Michael F Braby

 
This is the first complete field guide to all butterfly species on Australia’s mainland and its remote islands.

Written by one of Australia's leading lepidopterists, it is stunningly illustrated with colour photographs of each of the 416 currently identified species. There is also a distribution map for each species on the Australian mainland.


The introduction covers adult structure, classification, distribution and habitats, and life cycle and behaviour. This is followed by accounts of each of the 416 species, giving common name, scientific name, and other names (if any), as well as details of behaviour, habitat, status, and larval food plants.

 

Accompanying each species is a distribution map, and photographs of the upperside and underside of both male and female specimens.

 Source: Publisher

 

The Complete Field Guide to Dragonflies of Australia

Gunther Theischinger 

John Hawking

 

Dragonflies and damselflies are conspicuous insects – many are large and brightly coloured. Here for the first time is a comprehensive guide to the Australian dragonfly fauna.

The book includes identification keys not only for adults but also for their larvae, commonly known as ‘mud eyes’ and often used as bait for freshwater fish.

 

With stunning full-colour images and distribution maps, the book covers all 30 families, 110 genera and 324 species found in Australia. Source: Publisher


 

A Guide to Australia's Spiny Freshwater Crayfish

 

Robert B McCormack

 

Referred to as the 'Spiny Crayfishes' due to impressive arrays of spines on their hard armoured shells, Euastacus crayfish are the largest of the 10 genera of Australian freshwater crayfish.

 

This book discusses 50 species found in Australia, from the iconic giant Murray lobster that is fished by recreational fishers, to the exceedingly rare and tiny species Euastacus maidae.

 

These uniquely Australian species range from Cooktown in far north Queensland to Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. Many are found in or around our major population areas. The book discusses basic crayfish anatomy, moulting and growth, morphology, breeding, threats and diseases. It includes colour photographs for each species, as well as a glossary and further reading list. Source : Publisher

A Guide to Australian Moths

 

Paul Zborowski 

Ted Edwards

 

Moths are often thought of as the ugly cousins of butterflies, yet their colours can be just as remarkable and, with over 20,000 species in Australia, their biology and lifestyles are far more diverse.

With striking colour photographs of live moths in their natural habitat, this guide illustrates all the major moth families in Australia, including some rarely seen species. It provides many curious facts about the unusual aspects of moth biology, including details on day-flying species, camouflage, moths that mimic wasps, larvae with stinging hairs, and larvae that have gills.

 

This easy-to-read book includes sections on the iconic Witjuti grubs, Bogong moths, the giant-tailed Hercules moths of northern Queensland (one of the largest moths in the world, with a wingspan of over 25 cm), moths that release hydrocyanic acid in their defence, and moths that produce ultrasonic calls that bats learn to associate with a bad taste. Source: Publisher

 

A Guide to the Beetles of Australia

 

George Hangay 

Paul Zborowski

 

A Guide to the Beetles of Australia provides a comprehensive introduction to the Coleoptera – a huge and diverse group of insects. Beetles make up 40 per cent of all insects known to science. The number of described beetle species in the world – around 350 000 – is more than six times the number of all vertebrate species.

 

New beetle species are being discovered all the time. Of the 30 000 species that may occur in Australia, only 20 000 have been scientifically described.

 

These include around 6500 weevils (Curculionidae), 2600 scarabs, dung beetles and chafers (Scarabaeidae); and 2250 leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae). Source: Publisher

The Complete Field Guide to Stick and Leaf Insects of Australia

 

Paul D Brock 

Jack W Hasenpusch 

 

Australia has a rich diversity of phasmids – otherwise known as stick and leaf insects. Most of them are endemic, few have been studied and new species continue to be found. Stick insects are, by far, Australia’s longest insects – some of them reach up to 300 mm in body length, or more than half a metre if you include their outstretched legs.

 

Many stick insects are very colourful, and some have quite elaborate, defensive behaviour. Increasingly they are being kept as pets.

This is the first book on Australian phasmids for nearly 200 years and covers all known stick and leaf insects. It includes photographs of all species, notes on their ecology and biology as well as identification keys suitable for novices or professionals. Source: Publisher

A Guide to the Katydids of Australia

 

David Rentz

 

Katydids are among the most commonly seen Australian insects. They range in size from about 5 mm to well over 90 mm and occur in many habitats all over Australia.

 

Katydids are masters of deception, imitating twigs, bark, leaves and stems, as well as other insects. A few are brightly coloured and are distasteful to predators. They continue to be research subjects in many university curricula, where students study their behaviour, acoustical physiology and ecology.

 

A Guide to the Katydids of Australia explores this diverse group of insects from the family Tettigoniidae, which comprises more than 1000 species in Australia, including Norfolk and Lord Howe islands.

 

It highlights their relationships to plants, humans and the environment, and includes colour photographs of many species. Source :Publisher