Redfern Natural History Productions, 2008. 389 pages, hardcover, dustwrapper, 270 colour photographs.
The seven genera of sticky-leaved insect-eating plants are uniquely beautiful and captivate the interest of all who behold them. Each produces shimmering leaves lined with glistening droplets of glue that attract, trap and kill insects and other small animals. Complimented by 279 spectacular images, Glistening Carnivores examines all seven genera of sticky-leaved insect-eating plants (Byblis, Drosera, Drosophyllum, Ibicella, Pinguicula, Roridula and Triphyophyllum) and documents their wild ecology and natural diversity in full detail and in many cases, for the very first time.
The first chapter of Glistening Carnivores focuses on the research of Charles Darwin and the implications of his findings relating to the carnivorous plants of the world. The next chapter, entitled “The Sticky-Leaved Insect-Eating Plants”, identifies all of the known sticky-leaved insect-eating plants and discusses their classification. The following chapters entitled “The Evolution of the Sticky-Leaved Insect-Eating Plants” and “Mutualistic Arthropods” respectively handle the evolution of the seven genera and the known relationships with arthropod partners involving these plants.
Each of the following seven chapters then individually focus on one genus of sticky-leaved insect-eating plants. Each genus is considered in terms of its taxonomy, botanical history, morphology and ecology. In the following chapter, entitled Habitat Loss and the Threat of Extinction, Glistening Carnivores then moves to consider the conservational status and future outlook for these remarkable plants and examines their place in the 21st century in the context of changing landscapes across the world. The final chapter, entitled Cultivation and Horticulture considers the cultivation of the sticky-leaved insect-eating plants with recommendations of responsible and ethical nurseries where the reader may acquire responsibly and legally produced sticky-leaved insect-eating plants to grow and study at home. Glistening Carnivores is the first and only study of the sticky-leaved insect-eating plants and represents an unparal;elled source of information on the subject. The strengths of Glistening Carnivores undoubtedly include (1) its uniquely detailed content; (2) the 279 spectacular figures including breath taking images and useful distribution maps and (3) the very first published images of dozens of species of sticky-leaved insect-eating plants.
Glistening Carnivores is up-to-date, uniquely detailed, focused, and visually beautiful. It is technically written yet is accessible to specialist and non-specialist audiences and will be a valued source of information for all interested in the sticky-leaved insect-eating plants and carnivorous plants in general!