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Library Research Guides

Finding Species Information

A guide for finding factual information about particular plant and animal species.

About Print Resources

The listed titles are good starting points and cover a range of species. They include encyclopedias, guide books, and handbooks. The scientific (ie Latin) names are included in all these titles. To search for a book on a particular species, go to Mirlyn.

All the listed titles are located in the Reference section of the Shapiro Science Library, and arranged by call number. Please note that none of these titles circulate. They are room use only.

Print Resources: General

American Insects QL 474 .A761 2000 2nd edition. Includes diagrams, b/w photos and illustrations, with a brief bibliography.
Animal Anatomy on File QL 812.5 .A551 2003 Ideal for the newcomer to animal anatomy. Contents are in a file folder, and there is permission to photocopy text and illustrations for educational purposes.
Animal Behavior Desk Reference QL 750.3 .B371 2001 2nd edition. Formatted like a standard dictionary. Contains definitions for terms such as animal behavior, biogeography, psychology, statistics, and other related sciences.

Beacham's Guide to the Endangered Species of North America

(Also available online)

QH 77 .N56 B431 2001 6 volumes, with each one covering a set of species. Vol.1-mammals, birds, reptiles. Vol. 2-amphibians, fishes, snails, mussels, clams. Vol. 3-arachnids, crustaceans, insects, lichens,fern allies, true ferns, conifers, dicots. Vols. 4,5 & 6-more on dicots. Vol.6-monocots, glossary, organizations, geographic index, master index. Each entry concludes with contact information and references.

Birds of North America

(Also available online)

QL 671 .B645 Published bimonthly by the American Ornithologists' Union. Each issue focused on one bird species. Includes a bibliography.

Comprehensive Molecular Insect Science

(Also available online)

QL 495 .C65 2005 7 volume set. Illustrated. Each chapter contains references. Topics range from endocrinology to pharmacology. Includes subject index and species index.

Encyclopedia of Insects

(Also available online)

QL 462.3 .E48 2003 Illustrated, and with color photos. Each section carries references. Includes a chapter on Endangered Insects, and on Folk Beliefs & Superstitions.

The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles & Amphibians

(Also available online)

QL 641 .E53 2002 Better illustrated than the previous edition. Now has diagrams and color photos. Includes information on classification and conservation status.
Flowering Plants of the World QK 495 .A1 F64 1993 Heavily illustrated. Includes a detailed glossary.

Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia

(Also available online)

QL 45.2 .G923 2003 16 volume revised set, with chapter 17 as the master index. Chapters cover mammals, fishes, insects, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks and echinoderms. Well-illustrated.
Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals QL 701 .G7913 1990 5 volume set. Well-illustrated with many color photos, plates and maps.
Handbook of Frogs & Toads of the United States & Canada QL 668 .E2 W95 1995 Contains over 100 species and subspecies of frogs and toads.
Handbook of the Birds of the World QL 673 .H2511 1992 7 volumes. Illustrated with color photos and maps. Contains information about habitat, breeding, communication, relationship with humans.
Insects, Spiders, and other Terrestrial Arthropods QL 467 .M3961 2000 Guide to over 300 insects and other arthropod families. Very well-illustrated, with concise descriptions.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies QL 548 .P941 1995 Well-illustrated field guide to butterflies. Includes the anatomy of butterflies and how to watch and photograph them.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders QL 473 .M541 1980 Well-illustrated. Contains 550 insects and over 60 common spiders.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals QL 715 .W481 1996 Well-illustrated. Includes information on how mammals are classified, with a description on major habitats types. Mammals that are exclusively ocean-dwelling, such as whales, are not included in this field guide.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians QL 651 .B44 1998 Well-illustrated. Includes all native and introduced reptiles and amphibians found in North America.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, western region QK 110 .S67 2001 Well-illustrated. Includes family and species descriptions, as well as an introduction to plant anatomy.

The New Encyclopedia of Aquatic Life

QL120 .N491 2004 2 volume set that includes IUCN categories. Vol 1 covers Aquatic Invertebrates & Fishes. Vol 2 covers Fishes & Aquatic Mammals. Also contains a glossary, index and bibliography.
Scientific and Common Names of 7,000 Vascular Plants in the United States QK 96 .B73 1995 Arranged in 4 sections: Vascular Plant Names, Common Name Index, Synonyms, and Families and Genera.
Simon & Schuster's Guide to Insects QL 473 .A761 1981 Arranged like a field guide. Detailed introduction on anatomy, behavior and classification of insects.
Synopsis & Classification of Living Organisms QH 83 .S891 2 volumes. Articles arranged by Super-Kingdom. Kingdom and Sub-Kingdom.
Toxic Plants of North America QK 100 .N6 B871 2001 "Covers both animal and human intoxications…" Arranged by scientific name.
Trees QK 475.6 .C611 1992 A visual guide to more than 500 species of trees from around the world. Each entry carries the name of the person who first described and named that species of tree.
Walker's Mammals of the World QL 703 .W18 1999 2 volume set. Contains detailed accounts of every genus of mammal known to have existed in the past 5,000 years, including 21 new to science.
Walkers's Carnivores of the World

QL 737 .C2 N691 2005 Portions have been adapted from Walker's Mammals of the World. Many b/w photos and a long list of references.
Wild Animals of North America QL 715 .N42 1998 Prepared by the National Geographic. Contains brief descriptions and many color photos. Includes index and a species list.
World Watch List for Domestic Animal Diversity QL 82 .W6711 2000 3rd edition. Published by the FAO. Based on farm animals and their wild counterparts. Includes Breeds at Risk.