When I find a beetle I don’t recognize, usually the first book I open is Evans and Hogue’s beautiful beetle guide, which is part of the excellent series of California natural history guides from University of California Press.
Of the various beetle books in my library, this one seems to have the most comprehensive section of color photos, with more than 300 nicely composed images.
According to the blurb on the back cover, the book covers 569 of the 8,000 or so species of beetles in California, but almost all of the beetles I’ve found in the last few years can be identified by flipping through the color photos. Unfortunately (and this is my only criticism) the color plates do not include page numbers for the beetles illustrated, which means one must look up the species in the index to find the text description. Oh well, it only takes a moment to find the page.
If you love beetles as much as I do and you live in California (or even if you don’t!) this handy guide might become one of your most valued references.
If you choose to purchase Field Guide to Beetles of California (California Natural History Guides) through the Amazon link in this sentence you will be supporting my ecogarden work by adding a few shiny new pennies to my account balance.