Taxonomy provides the basic building blocks of our understanding of the diversity of life on this planet. It stems from innate human curiosity; confronted with an unknown species or object we ask "what is it?" Taxonomists recognize species and other systematic unities (the taxa), define them and place them within the framework of known organisms, providing the means for their subsequent identification. The
Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera (edited by I. & D. Löbl) gives a taxonomic overview of the most diverse group of all living things in the world's largest biogeographical area. It fixes nomenclature needed for unambiguous transfer of information, gives information about the occurrence of species and subspecies, and contains references that provide key information of over 40,000 systematic units. The work is a scaffold for biotic surveys, ecological studies, and nature conservation. It responds also to the urgent need of assessment of the still left forms of life, actually threatened by the on-going destruction of habitats.
Contributors are: Robert B. Angus, Martin Fikáček, Elio Gentili, Manfred A. Jäch, Fenglong Jia, Tomáš Lackner, Ivan Löbl, Sławomir Mazur, Yusuke Minoshima, Alfred F. Newton, Michel Perreau, Alexander Prokin, Marek Przewoźny, Jan Rŭžička, Sergey K. Ryndevich, Michael Schülke, André Skale, Aleš Smetana, Mikael Sörensson.
The publication of the work was supported by the
Muséum de la Ville de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland.