Future Field Guides

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I have recently received a copy of "Field Guide to The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Algonquin Provincial Park and the Surrounding Area" and I am impressed.  I like the throughness that the subject is covered and the scope the field guide covers is perfect for where I live.  It covers central Ontario, what a treat (sorry to those living in southern Ontario).  This book is the first of a series of field guides.  I hope that Friends of Algonquin produce a bunch of field guides in this series and produce them well. If they produced field guides on wildflowers, fish or mushrooms they could potentially be much better than currently available field guides.  For other topics it is still possible to produce field guides slightly better than what is currently available.

Upcoming Field Guides
Birds
The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds Pub
Due in March 2011.  A different approach to a birding field guide.  Each species has a beautiful painting of their habitat with a dozen or so individuals of that species in a variety of poses, angles, behaviors and plumages.  
Dragonflies
Dragonflies of North America Link
This is a Peterson's guide.  Given that Ed Lam produced the best damselfly book for North America, this one should be great. Combined with Damselflies of the Northeast, these two books with allow easy identification of any odonata within the whole northeast area.
Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East
This will be the sequel to Dennis Paulson's book Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West.  Judging by the format of the western book, this book will not replace the other dragonfly books but will nicely supplement.  What I like are the detailed natural history tidbits given.  
Moths
Moths of the Northeast
Living Moths & Caterpillars: A Guide to Eastern North America
Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America
Other Bugs
Field Guide to the Syrphidae of Northeastern North America
The Psocoptera of Ontario (Booklice)
The World genera and North American species of Clusiidae (Lekking Flies)
The Syrphidae of Ontario Hoverflies
Tephritidae of Ontario Fruit Flies

??A Photo Field Guide to Tree and Shrub Genera of Ontario
??Ontario Tree Atlas

Publishers & Online Bookstores to Watch
Photo Field Guides
Adventure Publications

Lone Pine Publishing

Peterson's

Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification
Allbookstores.com Nature section
NHBS Environment Bookstore
Bookfinder.com A search engine that finds most of the available copies available for sale online.  Combines all the major places

Wish List
My wish list for field guides in book form is below:
Birds A field guide as well designed as the Peterson's or Sibley's guide but more local in scope.  Perhaps it could include a stick to play bird songs and calls.
Butterflies Tough to improve on currently available guides (namely Butterflies of the North Woods).  An locally illustrated guide that included illustrations of caterpillars and of host plants would be ideal.
Moths If an English edition of Le Guide des Papillons du Québecwas made it would ideal for those living close to the Quebec.  Even better would be a guide for Ontario if it was like the Quebec edition. The upcoming Moths and Caterpillars of the North Woods will hopefully include lots of life history information and so fill an important niche.
Dragonflies
Friends of Algonquin have produced the ideal guide for central Ontario.  No significant improvement can be produced.
Hoverflies Hoverflies a.k.a. flower flies are popular in Europe.  It is about time that some guides for North America start appearing.  Hopefully the guide for northeastern North America will appear in 2010. See Field Guide to the Syrphidae of Northeastern North America for more information.  A completed Ontario version is planned for the Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification
Other Bug Groups
The more bug groups covered the better.  If the Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification had their online field guides printable in a small enough form for in the field use (instead of 8 *11) that would make their issues more usable in the field.  I would appreciate an Ontario level (and especially a central Ontario) guide to insects in general.  A higher percentage of the insect fauna could be included.  Perhaps species level coverage of small miscellaneous insects groups could be included as well like lady and tiger beetles. Here is an interesting article on insect identification: The real costs of insect identification.
Mammals What I would like to see is a complete mammals guide. There should be a guide that combines conventional mammal identification with tracking that includes tracks plus common signs to look for. With skill all this information could be packed into one book. Also to be included should be information on ultrasonic frequencies that bats echolocate with.
Herps (Amphibians and Repiles) The North Woods is great but one made for Ontario would be better. I would like to see an ability to play frog and toad calls in the book. Also more information on how to find herps would be good as well.
Fish A field guide like the Peterson's Guide to Freshwater Fish but only for Ontario species would be ideal. But unlike that guide I would like the pictures of the fish not separated from the species descriptions.
Wildflowers A local enough guide (Central Ontario or even more local) in full color with complete species coverage using Newcomb's key system would be ideal. Also useful would be a second key that would allow you to identify a wildflower that isn't in bloom. And since wildflowers have fruit a little later a fruit key would be nice.
Grasses Grasses are odd in that they are large plants but have tiny structure. A full color guide that includes a picture of the whole plant but also has close ups of flowers and other tiny features.
Mosses Something that isn't available is a photographic guide to mosses.  Mosses could be narrowed down partially by sight in addition to the growth patterns listed in "A Graphic Guide to Mosses".  Features that require a hand lens or a microscope should probably be illustrated in color.
Lichens Take the features of Lichens of North Woods, mix it with the species coverage of Lichens of the Ottawa Region, and use photographs or illustrations for microscopic features.
Mushrooms Complete species coverage but all the technical information to make an accurate identification would be ideal.

Computerized Field Guides
Bringing along a pocket sized computer, a.k.a. PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), offers several advantages over paper guides.  The strongest advantage is the virtually unlimited size of a field guide. Typical constraints of field guides are no longer present. Species profiles need not be a certain length and the number of potential species covered is unlimited. A comprehensive field guide to say moths is a possibility.  
Best of all is the potential to all your field guides in one machine.  No lightweight machine versus choosing among your field guide or carrying a lot of them and being weighed down. Unfortunately, the screen size (which may vary between different PDA) must be designed for and not all current field guides would translate well into a PDA.  A second strong advantage is the ability to listen and broadcast sounds from the PDA.  With the exception of specialized bird sound guides, paper field guides can't do this.  The third advantage is the non static appearance of the field guide.  With the capabilities of a computer you can do searches by characteristics, apply filters (such as local species), jot down sightings and more.  The big disadvantages of a PDA are the cost of the unit, the enevitability of running out of battery power and the vulnerability of the unit (can't drop it, can't get it wet, etc).

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