The Secret Life of Flies

£14.95 £12.00

Out of Print
The Secret Life of Flies Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: The Natural History Museum Pages: 256 Illustrations and other contents: 96 ISBN: 9780565093365 Categories: , ,

Enter a hidden world of snail killers, silly names and crazy sex in The Secret Life of Flies. Entomolologist Erica McAlister dispels many common misconceptions and reveals how truly amazing, exotic and important these creatures really are. From hungry herbivores and precocious pollinators to robber flies, dance flies and the much maligned mosquito, she describes the different types of fly, their unique and often unusual characteristics, and the unpredictable nature of their daily life.

Weight0.56 kg
'What really makes the book so engrossing is the weird and - let's be frank - occasionally horrifying behaviours that flies exhibit. There are flies that can eat raw oil and asphalt; others that can survive under the sea, or 5,700 feet down at the bottom of Lake Baikal; and there are even flies in Antarctica, where a quarter-inch midge represents the largest terrestrial animal on the entire continent... The most compelling parts of McAlister's book are gruesome tales... after reading her book it is obvious: flies rock.' The Spectator; 'That flies have secret lives will come as no surprise... And yet among them are marvels of peculiar form and bizarre behaviour. I would love to find antler flies sparring; or a bat fly 'swimming' through the fur of its host; or a giant Texan robberfly feeding on a hummingbird. Instead, if I can keep up with Erica's infectious verve, I will vicariously drink down her rich enthusiasm. I'll need a tough stomach, though.' Book of the month, BBC Wildlife

Author Biography

Erica McAlister is a curator of Diptera at the Natural History Museum, London. All through her life Erica has been interested in the little things - from her early fascination with decomposing cat spoils and their maggot fauna, to picking fleas off cats to watch them jumping under a microscope. Erica has studied in France, Australia and Costa Rica and her work with diptera has taken her all around the world. She was also a presenter on the popular BBC Radio 4 series Who's the Pest?.