An illustrated field guide to the insects and other arthropods of northwest Cambodia
(This project is currently on standby but not cancelled! I'll try to push it in 2017 but don't hold your breath!)
• More than a thousand high-quality photos
• Hundreds of common and rare species
• Identification keys accessible to everyone
• Notes on biology, behaviour and ecology
Almost all the children are fascinated by insects from the moment they start venturing out of their home, observing them, reaching out... That is, until this budding passion is crushed by overcautious or terrified adults telling them to keep their distance and kill these awful dirty dangerous bugs. Some children, however, ignore the warnings and grow to be entomologists. This book will be dedicated to the bug-loving inner child hiding in each of us, restrained or not.
I settled down in Cambodia in 2002, when it wasn’t wise to walk in the forests and out of the beaten tracks because of the widespread contamination by landmines. A forest engineer by training, I always had a keen interest in insects and other arthropods, especially in tropical environments. Sadly there were no books available to help me identify species here and I was limited to taking my own pictures then finding experts able to help me identify them. A decade later, the number of minefields has reduced, many forests have been lost to deforestations but the lack of documentation on the invertebrates remains as crucial as ever.
After administrating two Facebook group, Natural Cambodia and The Entomology Group, and helping hundreds of people putting names on bugs, I decided it was time to capitalise on this experience and to write the first ever field guide on the insects and other common terrestrial arthropods of Cambodia.
While this work is only a glimpse into the overall diversity found in the Kingdom of Wonder, I hope it will raise awareness on the often-neglected invertebrates that represent up to 80% of all animals in the country. Some people might decide to study biology or entomology, to pursue their nature photography or even to conduct research by themselves like I did.
In all cases, I am advocating for the Smaller Majority, a very appropriate term initially coined by Piotr Naskrecki, and hope that it will help everyone, Cambodian and International Visitors, get a better understanding of the amazing diversity hiding in the undergrowth.
Stéphane De Greef
Siem Reap, KH.