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World’s Weirdest Bugs: The Tiny Aliens Among UsArtist/Author: Zborowski, Paul
Over a million species of insects have already been named, catalogued and pictured. Theories as to how many are still to be named in collections, and discovered for the first time in the wild, vary considerably. However a figure of over 2 million is conservative. Imagine natural selection, the environmental forces acting on the survival of a species in a particular habitat, working over millions of years to adapt forms and behaviour for survival. As these changes are driven by random mutations in huge populations of a species, some of these mutations are neutral. They neither hinder nor help the species to survive. However to us observers some of these mutations can be pretty weird. The colour palette available is almost infinite, the shapes also, and why not have wild coloured eyes, or bizarre lumps, spines and duverlakies? Whatever doesn’t hurt survival can stay and develop further over time…
This book contains example stories from all over the world. The subject is endless, so the last few chapters simply touch on more weird stories for the reader to investigate further. The so-called ‘honorary mentions’, in this hall of weird fame. And no apologies for squeezing in one non-insect chapter – the spider relatives, the Opiliones, are just too quirky to ignore..
A Field Guide to Insects in Australia (Fourth Edition)Artist/Author: Zborowski, Paul and Ross Storey
Identifies insects from all the major insect groups
Whether you’re an amateur insect enthusiast, a student or an entomologist, this completely revised new edition of A Field Guide to Insects in Australia will help you to identify insects from all the major groups. With more photographs, species and up-to-date information, it will enable you to differentiate between a dragonfly and a damselfly or a cricket and a grasshopper. You’ll find cockroaches, termites, praying mantises, beetles, cicadas, moths, butterflies, ants, bees and many more. More than 600 colour photographs show the insects in their natural habitats, while more than 50 line drawings clearly illustrate the differences where identification is tricky.
Paul Zborowski is an entomologist and photographer based in Canberra. He has studied and photographed insect behaviour around the world and now concentrates on maintaining a macro photo collection which can be visited at www.close-up-photolibrary.com. Paul has revised this edition and continued the legacy of his esteemed friend and colleague, Ross Storey.
Ross Storey spent most of his professional life studying, collecting and curating insects for the University of Queensland and the Queensland Department of Primary Industries. He described many new species and wrote scientific papers, especially on native dung beetles, on which he is a recognised world authority. Before his death in 2008, he worked as a taxonomist and curator of the QDPI’s Mareeba insect collection, one of Australia’s premier collections of tropical insects.
Identifies insects from all the major insect groups.
Living lights: the glowworms of Australia and New Zealand.Artist/Author: Plowman, Cathie and David Merritt.
This book is an introduction to glowworms from the order Diptera which includes flies. They are all in the genus Arachnocampa, which has one species in New Zealand and eight species in eastern Australia.
Of Peaches and Maggots: The Story of Queensland Fruit FlyArtist/Author: Courtice, A.C.
The story is not a simple entomological treatise on the subject, Queensland fruit fly, but an investigation of the farmers, government officials and scientists who have had to deal with the fruit fly, their varied responses, and ultimately, the authors own investigations.
Colonial and agricultural history are involved. Scientific history and biography are involved. Some of the author’s autobiography is interpolated, as he is an actor in the story as well as its historian. And of course, there is inevitably entomology, although you can probably skip that if you find it uninteresting.
The conclusions and implications point to a particular interpretation or re-interpretation of Darwinian evolution; they point to the impacts of a foreign horticulture and colonial mentality on a new continent; and if you dont know in advance what is the crucial discovery that explains the flys resilience as a pest, there is an element of a scientific mystery story here.