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Here we feature books and websites that we have found either useful or simply interesting as regards to the U.K. beetle fauna. Some books cover the wider European fauna but include a worthwhile amount of information on British species while some are more focused on ecology or other aspects of the subject but all will provide information essential, if not to the casual collector, to the more serious or academically-minded coleopterist. In order to make this section manageable we have consigned books and sites that deal with specific families or groups to the relevant family pages but many of the works in this section will also be useful in this context, more especially those dealing with host plants and fungi etc. We make no attempt to review any of the featured works because we only add those we have found to be good and, in any case, lack of a good review might suggest we have reservations or do not approve of a work. Our broad philosophy is that if somebody puts in the hours to write about beetles and to make that information available then who are we to criticize? Access to entomological bookshops online will provide an almost endless list of works that the U.K. coleopterist will find interesting but of only limited usefulness or desirability, especially when considered against the prohibitive cost of building a library, and many of these, especially of the reprinted-scientific-paper variety, will be out of date and interesting only in passing. The pace of research into beetles has increased significantly in recent decades, especially regarding classification, and changes tend to take a long time to filter down to regional workers, and so the keen coleopterist should be constantly researching online to keep up with events. Regarding our U.K. fauna one could hardly do better than to subscribe to The Coleopterist and join a society or two. For the more academically minded the various journals published by the Royal Entomological Society are essential reading.

Useful websites

National Biodiversity Network - Provides distribution maps of records for all British species.

Mike's Insect Keys - ID keys for most British species.

Beetles of Britain and Ireland - Facebook page with regular comments and discussion.

Mark Telfer's Website - Blog site focused on beetles and general natural history.

Eakring Birds - Raising the profile of Nottinghamshire's invertebrate fauna.

Nature Spot - Recording the wildlife of Leicestershire and Rutland.

Tarsi & Tegulae - Good beetle website including guide to species at moth traps.

Beetles of Poland - Thousands of pictures of European beetles.

Beetles of the World - Pictures of Beetles from around the World.

Cerambycidae of the West Palaearctic - Extensive guide to European longhorn beetles.

The Lyons Share - Sussex-based Natural History blog.

Dung Beetle UK Mapping Project - Up to date survey of the british dung beetles.

British Leafminers - Guide to british leaf miners from various insect orders.

General insect books

Collins Complete Guide to British Insects

Michael Chinnery

Provides an introduction to British beetles, as well as a number of other insect orders.

RES Book of British Insects

Peter C. Barnard

An introduction to all families of insects occurring in the UK.

Imms' Outlines of Entomology

O.W.Richards & R.G. Davies

Abridged version of the classic introduction to insect physiology and morpholgy.

Introductory Beetle Books

A Coleopterist's Handbook

J. Cooter & M. V. Barclay

An introduction to  beetle collecting and studying. 

Beetles of the Czech and Slovak Republics

Karel Hurka

Provides a brief overview of central European beetles, including many UK species.

Keys to species

Beetles of Britain and Ireland

Andrew G. Duff

Intended to cover the entire UK fauna with ID keys. Three of four volumes published so far. 2012, 2016, 2020.

RES Handbooks for the identification of British Insects

Various authors

Identification guides to various families of beetles.

Die Kafer Mitteleuropas

Freude, Harde & Lohse

Covers the entire central European fauna in many volumes. Regularly updated.

-Only available in German.

Icones insectorum Europae centralis

Various authors

Guides to European species of various groups. 

The Coleoptera of the British islands

William Weekes Fowler

The first comprehensive guide to the British beetle fauna. Six volumes, 1890 - 1911. 

Zoological Keys

Various authors

Guides to European species of various groups. 

A Practical Handbook of British Beetles

Norman H. Joy

Classic work identifying every British beetle species up to the publication date (1932).

Hodge & Jones.jpg

New British Beetles

Peter Hodge & Richard Jones

Provides updates for many of the groups in Joy's 1932 handbook.

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