Paper pub. date
November 2011
ISBN 9780870716089 (paperback)
5.5 x 8.5 inches, 176 pages. Line drawings. Glossary. Index.

Wading for Bugs

Exploring Streams with the Experts

Michael T. Barbour and Judith L. Li
Illustrations by Boonsatien Boonsoong.

In Wading for Bugs, nearly two dozen aquatic biologists share their memorable encounters with stream insects. The contributors, based primarily in North America, work in diverse environments – from arctic to desert, from mountain streams to river valleys. They represent a wide range of expertise as authors of standard field texts, leaders in biomonitoring and assessment programs, directors of major laboratories, and specialists in aquatic ecology and taxonomy.

The writings in Wading for Bugs allow readers to experience – through the eyes of the scientists – what it’s like to study stream insects and to make discoveries that could help develop biological indicators for stream health. General summaries introduce each insect order. Elegant insect drawings accompany each story, along with morphological, life history, and habitat information for each species or family.

Wading for Bugs will appeal to general readers as well as students, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts curious about streams and the insects that live in them.


Read an excerpt from the book: Chapter 18, Hanging from a Leaf

About the author

Michael T. Barbour is director of the Center for Ecological Sciences at Tetra Tech, Inc. in Owings Mills, Maryland. Dr. Barbour serves as a technical expert to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for using biological indicators to assess the ecological condition of surface waters. He is particularly known for his publication of Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Streams, which has served as a basis for implementing bioassessment in water quality agencies. He has also published two environmental mystery novels, The Kenai Catastrophe and Blue Water, Blue Island, as well as two children's books, Caitlyn and Craig the Crayfish and Douglas Visits the Seashore.

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Judith L. Li, retired Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University, is a stream ecologist who studies aquatic bugs and riparian food webs.She is the editor of To Harvest ,To Huntand coeditor of Wading for Bugs. She enjoys sharing science with young students and contributing to citizen science programs.

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Click on the link below to download an sample essay from Wading for Bugs.

Chapter 18: Hanging from a Leaf by Rob Cannings

“I think it’s a wonderful idea to have experts talk personally about their work rather than be confined to academic descriptions. In my opinion, the intent of this book is fun and original – particularly so since the topic of aquatic invertebrates is relatively unexplored and uncelebrated.”

– Sharman Apt Russell, author of An Obsession with Butterflies: Our Long Love Affair with a Singular Insect

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