Illinois Insects and Spiders

Paintings by Peggy Macnamara

Illinois Insects and Spiders
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Paintings by Peggy Macnamara

124 pages | 28 color plates | 8 x 6 | © 2005
Paper $16.00 ISBN: 9780226501000 Published August 2005
Recent estimates put the world's insect population at more than forty million species. Here in Illinois, the numbers are equally awesome: seventeen thousand species call the state home, among them four thousand types of flies; fifteen hundred types of grasshoppers, cicadas, and aphids; five thousand types of beetles; two hundred types of ants, wasps, and bees; and two thousand types of butterflies and moths. With so much entomological diversity here in the Midwest, Illinois residents needn't look further than their own backyards to discover the rich and secret world of insects and spiders.

Marrying art and entomology, Illinois Insects and Spiders is a unique introduction to local biodiversity. Artist Peggy Macnamara celebrates the state's burgeoning insect and spider populations with twenty-seven color plates of beautiful renderings of numerous species, organized both taxonomically and thematically. The insects on each plate are depicted true to scale in relation to one another and are displayed approximately ten times larger than life size. Accompanying each plate are lively captions-written by Field Museum curators and collection managers-that identify the species and reveal their interesting behaviors and unique habitats.

Illinois Insects and Spiders encourages readers to explore the biodiversity at their feet-in the shiny beetles on the ground-and in the air-in the glint of a lightning bug in summer. More than a traditional field guide, Illinois Insects and Spiders is the rare book that combines lush artwork with the science of natural history, bringing both closer to the general reader.
Elizabeth Taylor | Chicago Tribune

"This collection of watercolors elevates the wee pesky, insistent, disease-carrying creatures that define summer to a new stratosphere. In these pages, the predators and parasites become more than a necessary part of our ecosystem—they are living objects of beauty."

Gary Wisby | Chicago Sun-Times

“Entrancing, entertaining..."

Sarah O'Malley | Northeastern Naturalist
"A delightful and surprising book, representing the best kind of synergy of art and science. . . . Paintings are both accurate and beautiful."
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