There are more 1.3 million documented species of insect, meaning that bug life, to describe them crudely, accounts for well over half of all known animal life on the planet. So it’s no surprise that the study of insects, entomology, has been an expansive subject in literature since the late Renaissance era.
The earliest written works on insects relate to bee-keeping, a practice dating back to the Egyptians, and use of predatory insects to protect crops against insect pests. The fact that insects are small limited serious study until the development of the microscope in the late 16th and 17th centuries led to more detailed examination of these tiny organisms and a lot more literature. Naturalists like Thomas Muffet (who has no connection to Little Miss Muffet of the famous nursery rhyme), who is best known for his work on Insectorvm sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrvm, took full advantage of this new technology to study spiders and silkworms. He eventually made the connection that insects could help in the development of medicine.
This made way for the pure study of insects in the 18th century and beyond. We began to see the publication of new insights into how these vastly different creatures lived such as Jan Goedart’s publication on metamorphosis and Jan Swammerdam’s description of reproduction. The types of rare entomology books available differ widely from beautifully illustrated works that include full colour plate drawings of magnified insects, classificatory texts which systematically describe different species and families, and biological texts that describe the anatomy, physiology and life cycle of various insects.
Art, biology, bio-history, horticulture and naturalism are all covered by collectable entomology books. Put a bug book on your shelf today.