A loving look at one of the world’s most maligned, misunderstood, and fascinating insects
Famous foe of forestry professionals and despised spreader of Dutch elm disease, bark beetles have a bad reputation: the World’s Worst Forest Pests. They chew through timber profits and kill healthy trees, turning forests from carbon sinks into carbon sources. But entomologist Jiri Hulcr sees more to these evil weevils than meets the eye, and offers you a closer look-literally.
With science journalist Marc Abrahams, Hulcr offers a funny and informative introduction to these under-studied and underappreciated insects. This lively book turns cutting-edge research into an enjoyable tour through the miniature world of a charming critter. Vivid macrophotography captures every aspect of bark beetle life in stunning detail, from their dramatic family stories and curiously endearing looks to their mating strategies, and the secret fungus farms where they cultivate their own “ambrosia.” You’ll learn how much we don’t know about bark beetles-and what that means for science’s attempts to control them as climate change alters their habitats.
Whether you’re a scientist seeking up-to-date pest management strategies or you’re just wondering if your backyard trees are at risk, this book will help you better understand the latest discoveries in beetle symbioses, molecular biology, and ecology. But be warned: at the end of this read you may be filled with affection for these adorable and astonishing beetles.