FSC Beetles AIDGAP is a paperback identification guide book to the families of beetles (Coleoptera and Strepsiptera) in Britain.
Beetles are a large and complex group of insects, in the order Coleoptera. There are many comprehensive identification guides, but to the novice they seem daunting. So AIDGAP Beetles offers a more gentle way in. It is designed for use with unprepared specimens at low magnification. The author has avoided complex terminology, obscure characters and the need for expensive equipment. In addition to the keys, there are concise ecological notes for each beetle family.
With more than 350,000 species worldwide, beetles are among some of the most successful animals on Earth. There are around 4000 species in Britain, living in a wide range of habitats. Beetles owe their success mainly to their hardened wing-cases, or elytra. These protect their flight wings, especially as the animal pushes through grass roots, under logs and stones and through debris.
This beetles guide is part of the FSC’s AIDGAP series (Aids to Identification in Difficult Groups of Animals and Plants). The aim of AIDGAP series is to produce accessible keys suitable for non-specialists from age 16+. Although written by specialists, all AIDGAP guides go through field tests in draft form. As with all guides in the series, the Beetles AIDGAP was tested extensively before publication, by beginners and specialists alike. The author has revised the keys in the light of the testers’ experience.