Format of this Book

In order to identify a splat, one section of the book has drawings and descriptions of various insect splats that you will probably encounter while driving down a road. Below these splats, a colored illustration of an insect is provided to give you an idea of what it looked liked before it ricocheted off your windshield. As you can imagine, I had a difficult time allocating one particular splat to a particular species. . . . More often than not, I identified a splat to a family of insects (e.g., mosquitoes or cockroaches), rather than to a known species. When trying to identify a splat, keep in mind that a splat can be quite variable for a particular group of insects; however, each splat normally has several characteristics that are specific to a particular insect group, and I list the most prominent aspects of each particular splat. Look for similarities between the splat on your windshield and the description in this book. Also note the time of day, the season, and where you were when you hit the insect. This information, combined with the type of splat, will allow you to deduce which insect group it is in and possibly the species. For each group of insects, it should be kept in mind that every group contains quite a large number of insects with different sizes, shapes, and colors. . . . Each illustration of an insect is just to show the general appearance of insects found in a group.

Another section of the book, "Natural Life History," contains lots of information about the insect that you have just identified. I have divided the information part for each insect group or species into four sections. First, I give some general info and some interesting stories about each insect group or species. Second, I describe the general natural life history of each insect, which are biological descriptions of an insect. Usually most of the natural life-history information is derived from some of the more common insects within a group. Thus, be aware that a number of different natural life histories exist within each insect group. Third, I give some fun things to do that will help you discover more about the life of the insect you have just encountered. Fourth, I provide information and facts about common species that you will probably hit on the road (this will help you identify the splat). All of these sections, taken together, are meant to expose you to the fascinating world of insects!

"Fun Things To Do" contains activities you can do with insects, where you can find them in their natural habitat, and how you can recognize them. This part also includes some questions about the insects that can be answered by conducting experiments or basic observations. These activities and questions are not meant to be limiting. . . . As you will soon discover, the more you find out about a particular insect, the more questions you will have. Some of the information you will discover may be quite interesting to scientists; you might even be able to publish some of your findings in a scientific journal!