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Wood's “Insects at Home”*

Nature volume 5, pages 6568 | Download Citation



THIS bulky volume of 670 pages appears to us to be altogether a mistake. It is far too voluminous and too uninteresting for a beginner, while for the more advanced student it is almost valueless, being a very incomplete compilation from the works of well-known writers. It consists of brief and imperfect descriptions of a selection of, perhaps, one-twentieth of the insects inhabiting Great Britain, with occasional notices of their habits and economy, and extracts from a few entomological works. These descriptions are generally introduced by such words as “Our next example,” “We next come to,” “We now come to,” “Next in order comes,” “Next on our list is,” &c. &c.; and for the most part are mere amplifications of short technical characters, conveying a minimum of useful information, with a maximum expenditure of words. Let us take two examples at random. At p. 76 we have two-thirds of a page devoted to a beetle:—

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