Crickets and Katydids, Concerts and Solos

We who are preeminently creatures of vision instinctively appreciate most the world of light; we must learn to savor the full range of nature’s world of sound. — Vincent Dethier

In 1993 entomologist Vincent Dethier won the John Burroughs Medal for distinguished nature writing for his book Crickets and Katydids, Concerts and Solos, a beautifully written natural history of the common crickets, locust and grasshoppers of the northeast — with a special emphasis on their songs. From Mount Washington to the salt marshes of Cape Cod, Dethier’s ear was bent toward meadow grasshopper, marsh locust, sphagnum and snowy tree cricket. No simple task, as Dethier reports: “The singing insects are wary, alert, clever in the art of concealment, and as deceptive as the most skilled ventriloquists.”

This is a wonderful book, full of insights that could only have come from a patient naturalist such as Vincent Dethier. As an added bonus, this book is graced throughout by exceptionally fine insect drawings by Abigail Rorer.

and here’s a few more related books from the Land Library’s entomology collection!

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Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States by John L. Capinera, Ralph D. Scott, & Thomas J. Walker, Guide to Night-Singing Insects of the Northeast (with CD) by John Himmelman, and The Songs of Insects (with CD) by Lang Elliott & Wil Hershberger

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