Dr. David Kattes, an entomologist from Tarleton State University, was at the Dinosaur Valley State Park gift shop Saturday to sign copies of his book “Insects of Texas: A Practical Guide.”
“There’s a lot of nature books out there, but this is a little different from most insect books,” Kattes said.
He described it as an introduction to taxonomy and the classification of insects, naming specific insect families, different varieties, descriptions and how to identify them.
Kattes said, as an entomologist, he frequently gets asked about “a bug on a bush,” but if he can help people narrow down the field, then he can determine if the bug is a beneficial insect or not.
“It’s intended for two audiences,” Kattes said. “Nurserymen or county agents to use as a reference guide and secondly for nature nerds like me.”
Kattes, who also enjoys taking pictures of the various creepy-crawlers in Texas, said he first decided to become an entomologist after a field trip to Texas A&M University when he was just 14.
“They told me I could get a degree in bugs,” Kattes said. “That was it. I was sold.”
The book is the 39th in a nature series published through Texas A&M Press, but is Kattes’ first.
Kattes said he taught himself about wildflowers and used those books to decide how he wanted to format his book. He also hopes to put together a children’s book about bugs.