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Insects of Eastern Arabia

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Finding materials to identify common insects in the UAE and Oman is very difficult. We have some information that was published in Tribulus, some in Fauna of Arabia, and more in books like The Emirates: A Natural History and the recently released Terrestrial Environment of Abu Dhabi Emirate. While Tony Van Harten’s new Arthropods of UAE series will address the entomologist’s needs for keys, it is difficult for the layman to use due to the taxonomic detail provided and will take many volumes to complete. About the only accessible resource extant is Insects of Eastern Arabia authored by D. H. Walker and A. R. Pittaway with copious illustrations by A. J. Walker. Walker and Pittaway did many studies in Arabia, publishing in many journals. Tony Pittaway is an expert on Hawkmoths. Insects of Eastern Arabia was published in 1987 by Macmillan. Unfortunately, when the book didn’t sell well, Macmillan pulped the remainders without offering them to the authors. Now it is almost impossible to obtain a copy as those that were sold are ensconced in libraries and private collections. While it is 30 years old and scientific knowledge of insect species in Eastern Arabia has grown tremendously, this book still provides a useful introduction to our local insects. Fortunately, a copy was held in the Al Ain Chapter’s library. As you can perhaps see from the scan of the front cover of this copy, it is well used. As I got interested in insects, I photographed the pages and built a PDF copy of the book. Later I had occasion to contact Mr. Pittaway on another topic and asked him if it might be possible to make the PDF available to others. He consulted Mr. Walker’s heirs and let me know that all were enthusiastic about having the resource available again. As copyright holders, they have granted permission for us to post this on the ENHG web site. They are also trying to see if there are other sources available to build a better quality PDF.

Please right-click on the link below and download the PDF to your local computer. 

Abstract:

"The only illustrated guide to date to the insect life of Arabia, this book covers those species most likely to be noticed in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, eastern Saudi Arabia and northern Oman, due to their abundance, size, colours and activities. Aimed principally at laymen, it is also sufficiently technical to provide a valuable basic reference work for specialists. Although a guide to the Arab Gulf States, this book would also be useful in neighbouring countries. The classification and anatomy of insects are reviewed in an introductory section of the book. A systematic account of the orders and important families of insects follows and includes information on about 600 species, with notes on their economic importance where relevant. For each species dealt with, original observations on their biology, behaviour and habitats are presented, together with maps of their known distribution across the entire Arabian Peninsula. Coloured illustrations of adults (and in some cases immature stages) are provided. One new species of mydid fly is described by J. Bowden. To add to the general interest of the book, some personal reflections on Arabia are added. Indexes to scientific and common names are provided."

CAB Abstracts (http://www.cababstractsplus.org/google/abstract.asp?AcNo=19870545636)

Insects of Eastern Arabia (PDF 14.2mb)


Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan