Thursday, September 27, 2018

Colorful booklice

This is one of the most “woke” books I've ever seen, “woke” as in Galaxy Brain material. :D

OK, seriously…

The Swedish “Nationalnyckeln” was supposed to become a super-encyclopedia to end all encyclopedias, covering all (!) species of living organisms in Sweden. Unfortunately, every single volume became too expensive, and the Swedish government (which financed the project) discontinued it after only 17 volumes. However, it seems the project is up and running again, although it's unclear at this time for how long.

This volume was published in 2010 and covers all Nordic species of Psocoptera, small insects often referred to as booklice or barklice. “Nordic” here refers to Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Svalbard. Currently, 82 species of psocids are known from the Nordic countries, although about one-fifth are probably non-native imports. What makes this volume so fascinating is that it includes large color photos of many species! Something tells me books about booklice aren't usually this colorful…

A few volumes of “Nationalnyckeln” contain English summaries of the species presentations, but not this one. The keys are bilingual, though. However, the bulk of the material is in Swedish only.

Personally, I eagerly await future volumes about Twisted-Wing Parasites, Silverfish, Botflies and, I suppose, Birds, but something tells me I have to wait a very long time, until, say 2050 AD…

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