A Guide to the Beetles of Australia


Paperback - April 2010 - AU $49.95

eBook - April 2010 - eRetailers

ebooks.com Google Books amazon.com Kobo

A well-illustrated guide that provides a fascinating introduction to this huge and diverse group of insects.

A Guide to the Beetles of Australia provides a comprehensive introduction to the Coleoptera – a huge and diverse group of insects. Beetles make up 40 per cent of all insects known to science. The number of described beetle species in the world – around 350 000 – is more than six times the number of all vertebrate species. + Full description

New beetle species are being discovered all the time. Of the 30 000 species that may occur in Australia, only 20 000 have been scientifically described. These include around 6500 weevils (Curculionidae), 2600 scarabs, dung beetles and chafers (Scarabaeidae); and 2250 leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae).

A Guide to the Beetles of Australia highlights the enormous diversity of this unique insect Order. It emphasises the environmental role of beetles, their relationships with other plants and animals, and their importance to humans.

Winner of the 2010 Whitley Medal.

- Short description


"This handsome little book briefly presents 80 percent of Australian beetle families. More than 460 photos are of the excellent quality we expect from accomplished photographer Paul Zborowski. Overall this will prove a useful book, particularly for beginners. It should also encourage budding photographers to delve into the macro world in their gardens and local bushland.
Steve K Wilson, Wildlife Australia, Autumn 2011

"This is a masterful introduction to the fascinating world of beetles…"
Denis Crawford, Gardening Australia, Oct 2010

"A Guide to the Beetles of Australia is a very attractive and valuable handbook that adds substantially to the popular treatment of Australia’s colourful and diverse world of beetle life. It will doubtlessly encourage enthusiasm, among children and adults alike, for this beautiful group of invertebrates."
John Wainer, The Victorian Naturalist, June 2011, Vol. 128 (3), pp.119-120

"This guide is brilliant… I believe this guide will enthuse and assist many to take on the beetle challenge as an intrinsic part of their plant conservation activities."
Maria Matthes, Australian Plant Conservation, Vol 19, No 2, September-November 2010

"This beautifully illustrated guide (mostly with magnificent color photographs) would create an enthusiast of even a non-entomologist. A book that will be useful for both amateurs and professionals, be they entomologists, coleopterists, ecologists, conservationists, or general lovers of the great natural beauty and biodiversity of beetles in the land 'Down Under'."
Robert E Woodruff, Insecta Mundi, 2010

"...the combination of text and brilliant macro photography (and some familiar species) provided a thorough and fascinating journey through the Australian Coleoptera. An exquisite reminder of the diversity and importance of one group of Australia’s fauna."
Robin Parsons, TARSUS No. 593, September 2010

"With lots of colour photos and descriptions written in plain English, this guide highlights clearly just how weird Australia’s 20,000 beetle species are."
Simon Webster, Organic Gardener, November/December 2010

"Never has there been an easier decision than to pre-order this book from the CSIRO Publishing web site…the authors have managed to do the almost impossible by daring to combine some of the more technical descriptive elements of entomology with some very readable text and stunning photographs. The text is littered with fascinating insights into the biology of these insects, making it very enjoyable to browse."
Dave Britton, Society for Insect Studies Circular, 145, June 2010

"…a worthy winner of the 2010 Whitley Medal for Australian zoological publishing."
Ian Fraser, Natural History Book Reviews, http://www.botanicalbookshop.com.au/reviews.asp

"…excellent value and deserves wide readership. It could do much to encourage interest in documenting the richness, biology and conservation needs of this vast group so important in understanding Australia’s biodiversity, and displaying its evolution, together with the unique array of endemic lineages present."
Tim R New, Journal of Insect Conservation, 2010

"Paul Zborowski’s photographs are superb and his coverage of species for this book is amazing. The text throughout makes fascinating reading! For those like this reviewer who are disinclined to kill an insect simply to put a name to a photograph the book is an invaluable guide. I thoroughly recommend it."
Densey Clyne, Metamorphosis Australia, July 2010

"At last a compact, affordable and beautifully illustrated beetle book with coloured photos and easily understood descriptions has been published. The coloured photos are so superb of the complete adult beetles posing in their natural habitat, it is like having the live beetle in ones hand…an absolute must have for all scientific biological laboratories and institutions working on any insect research of beetles in Australia."
Elizabeth Jefferys, The Linnean Society of NSW newsletter, Vol 131, May 2010

"All interested in learning more about Australian beetles stand to gain from the concise text and abundant colour illustrations…excellent value and deserves wide readership."
Tim R New, Journal Insect Conservation, 2010

"…another worthy CSIRO guide book for both the professional and naturalist."
Martyn Robinson, Explore, Spring 2010


Paperback | April 2010 | $ 49.95
ISBN: 9780643094871 | 248 pages | 215 x 148 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs, Illustrations

ePDF | April 2010
ISBN: 9780643100121
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Treats all main families of Australian beetles
  • Provides an introduction to beetle biology
  • Copiously illustrated with high quality photographs


What makes a beetle?
Reproduction and development
Food and survival
Higher taxonomy
Family descriptions
Glossary 225 Index of common names
Index of scientific names

View the full table of contents.


George Hangay has studied beetles in many parts of the world but has focused on the Australian fauna during the last four decades. After retiring from the Australian Museum, where he worked as Chief Preparator, he took part in various projects as a consultant, curated the insect collection of AQIS (NSW) and wrote several articles and books. He continues to collaborate with many Australian and overseas coleopterists. George is also the author of A Guide to Stag Beetles of Australia.

Paul Zborowski is an entomologist and photographer, based in the Wet Tropics of Queensland. For the past 40 years he has studied and photographed insects all over the world. He is the published author of a number of insect reference works including the Whitley Award winning Field Guide to Insects in Australia, and he operates a specialist image bank at www.close-up-photolibrary.com.