John Wiley and Sons, Octavo, dustwrapper,
A wonderful journey into the insect world through literature, science, art and popular culture.
John Wiley and Sons, Octavo, dustwrapper,
Insect photography is both a challenging and rewarding art. If an image is well shot it can yield stunning results, which can aid study and enhance enjoyment of the natural world. Through introducing insects and their behaviour, it advises on when and how to see nature at work and, by instructing on techniques, it shows how to capture the moment to dramatic effect. Aimed at all levels of naturalist and photographer, this practical guide also gives detailed advise on different cameras and equipment.
A guide to the world of arthropods, covering many insect orders, including beetles, flies, stick insects, dragonflies, ants and wasps, as well as microscopic creatures. It provides a fascinating overview of insects and spiders, including their habitats and classification, all shown in over 195 beautiful photographs and illustrations. All aspects of insect life are covered, such as the way insects defend themselves and how they are able to jump, leap and fly. It describes cryptic coloration, and the way insects can use camouflage to blend into their background and escape attack from predators. It offers various methods of feeding are discussed, from biting and chewing to lapping, sucking, piercing and filter feeding, according to their different mouthparts. It outlines their useful role in pollination of crops, production of honey, and removing insect pests. In the arthropoda phylum, insects are one of the most successful species, and spiders are one of the largest groups. This book studies how they organize their lives. The first section provides information of every aspect of insect life: evolution, anatomy, life cycles, flight and social organization. The last section describes the 30 orders within the class Insecta, demonstrating the huge variety of insects, from microscopic creatures to giant stick insects and large beetles. Typical features of insects in each order are highlighted. With expert text, illustrations and clear photographs, this guide will be enjoyed by all who take an interest in natural history.
This book provides a sweeping account of insects’ evolution from their humble arthropod ancestors into the bugs we know today. Leaving no stone unturned, Shaw explores how evolutionary innovations such as small body size, wings, metamorphosis, and parasitic behavior have enabled insects to disperse widely, occupy increasingly narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes in their rise to global dominance. Through buggy tales at turns bizarre and comical – from caddisflies that construct portable houses or weave silken aquatic nets to trap floating debris, to parasitic wasp larvae that develop in the blood of host insects and, by storing waste products in their rear ends, are able to postpone defecation until after they emerge – he not only unearths how changes in our planet’s geology, flora, and fauna contributed to insects’ success, but also how, in return, insects came to shape terrestrial ecosystems and amplify biodiversity. Indeed, in his visits to modern earth’s hyperdiverse rain forests to highlight the current insect extinction crisis, Shaw reaffirms just how critical these tiny beings are to planetary health and human survival. In this age of honeybee die-offs and bedbugs hitching rides in the spines of library books, Planet of the Bugs charms with humor, affection, and insight into the world’s six-legged creatures, revealing an essential importance that resonates across time and space.
Throughout the Middle Ages, enormously popular bestiaries presented people with descriptions of rare and unusual animals, typically paired with a moral or religious lesson. The real and the imaginary blended seamlessly in these books – at the time, the existence of a rhinoceros was as credible as a unicorn or dragon. Although audiences now scoff at the impossibility of mythological beasts, there remains an extraordinary willingness to suspend skepticism and believe wild stories about nature, particularly about insects and their relatives in the Phylum Arthropoda. In The Earwig’s Tail, entomologist May Berenbaum and illustrator Jay Hosler draw on the powerful cultural symbols of these antiquated books to create a beautiful and witty bestiary of the insect world. Berenbaum’s compendium of tales is an alphabetical tour of modern myths that humorously illuminates aerodynamically unsound bees, ear-boring earwigs, and libido-enhancing Spanish flies.
She tracks down the germ of scientific truth that inspires each insect urban legend and shares some wild biological lessons, which, because of the amazing nature of the insect world, can be more fantastic than even the mythic misperceptions.