Published by Seattle Audubon Society

A Regional Insect Field Guide by Merrill A Peterson

Engaging and accessible, Pacific Northwest Insects features over 1225 species with stunning photographs and descriptions. 


Groundbreaking in Scope and Accuracy

Based on an exhaustive study by one of the region's insect authorities, Pacific Northwest Insects is a major breakthrough in field guides - the first ever to enable readers to easily and accurately identify thousands of species spanning the breadth of insect diversity. 

“Accurate identification of our local insects becomes practical for the first time, thanks to this splendid book from one of our foremost ecologists and educators.”

– Robert Michael Pyle, Ph.D., Founder of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and author of The Butterflies of Cascadia, Wintergreen, and others. 

“With stunning photos and informative text on the identification and natural history of the region’s diverse insects, this easy-to-use book is a must-have for all field naturalists.”

– Dennis Paulson, Ph.D., Director Emeritus, Slater Museum of Natural History (UPS) and author of Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West

  • Detailed accounts for more than 1225 species featuring dazzling color photos of living examples.
  • Detailed information about other species in the region that are similar to the featured species, allowing users to distinguish and identify over 3,000 of the region's most common, most interesting, and most spectacular species.  
  • Covers all the major groups of insects in the region as well as spiders, harvestmen, scorpions, windscorpions, millipedes, centipedes, springtails, and kin.
  • Coverage of southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, northern California (through the Bay Area), Idaho, and western Montana. 
  • User-friendly, color-coded formatting, with quick-reference guides. 
  • Key information about pests, beneficial insects, and species of conservation concern.

Detailed Species Accounts

Accounts include all the information necessary to identify a species and to distinguish it from similar species in the region, as well as information on seasonality, size variation, habitat and distribution in the Pacific Northwest. 

Informative Essays on the Major Groups of Insects

Essays on each of the major groups of insects with information on their distinctive features, lifestyles and habitat. 

Precise Anatomical Drawings

Clear and accurate line drawings that illustrate anatomical features used in identification of species. 

About the Author

Merrill A Peterson

Merrill A. Peterson is Professor and Chair of Biology and Insect Collection Curator at Western Washington University, where he has taught various courses in entomology, ecology, and evolutionary biology since 1997. He is also an adjunct professor in the Entomology Department at Washington State University and often teaches Master Gardener classes on insects. Merrill began studying insects while growing up in Seattle, received his B.S. in Zoology from the University of Washington, and his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. He has authored numerous papers on insect ecology, evolution, and diversity, and oversaw the development of the Pacific Northwest Moths website. His natural history photographs have been published in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Butterflies of CascadiaLife Histories of Cascadia Butterflies, and many other places.




4th: Book Launch at Seattle Audubon Society

25th: Interview on Gardening with Ciscoe 


9th: Lake Hills Library 2 PM

29th: Powell’s Books, Portland  2 PM


22nd: Scarabs in Seattle  7 PM


3rd: Redmond Public Library  2 PM

17th: Village Books 4 PM


8th: Woodinville Public Library 2 PM


Where to Purchase

University of Washington Press

Or an Independent Bookstore like Bellingham's