Wasps: The Astonishing Diversity of a Misunderstood Insect


Wasps: The Astonishing Diversity of a Misunderstood Insect Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Princeton University Press Pages: 256 Illustrations and other contents: 150+ colour photos and colour illustrations ISBN: 9780691211428 Category:

Wasps are far more diverse than the familiar yellowjackets and hornets that harass picnickers and build nests under the eaves of our homes. These amazing, mostly solitary creatures thrive in nearly every habitat on Earth, and their influence on our lives is overwhelmingly beneficial. Wasps are agents of pest control in agriculture and gardens. They are subjects of study in medicine, engineering, and other important fields. Wasps pollinate flowers, engage in symbiotic relationships with other organisms, and create architectural masterpieces in the form of their nests.

This richly illustrated book on Wasps introduces you to some of the most spectacular members of the wasp realm, colourful in both appearance and lifestyle. From minute fairyflies to gargantuan tarantula hawks, wasps exploit almost every niche on the planet. So successful are they at survival that other organisms emulate their appearance and behaviour. The sting is the least reason to respect wasps and, as you will see, no reason to loathe them, either. Written by a leading authority on these remarkable insects, Wasps reveals a world of staggering variety and endless fascination.

  • Packed with more than 150 incredible colour illustrations
  • Includes a wealth of eye-popping infographics
  • Provides comprehensive treatments of most wasp families
  • Describes wasp species from all corners of the world
  • Covers wasp evolution, ecology, physiology, diversity, and behaviour
  • Highlights the positive relationships wasps share with humans and the environment
Weight0.77 kg

1 review for Wasps: The Astonishing Diversity of a Misunderstood Insect

  1. myxomage (verified owner)

    Designed like a coffee-table book, with large, sumptuous illustrations, but in a more manageable size, “Wasps…” aims to introduce the reader to much more than the common or garden social wasps and hornets; a truly ambitious and welcome undertaking for which the author should be congratulated. Each double-page spread treats a different topic, from pollinators to hyperparasites to galls, so it is very easy to dip in and browse without necessarily starting at chapter one. Towards the end is a synopsis of different families of wasps, an essential reference for keeping track of the bewildering array of names dropped almost casually in the text. This book is a great introduction and good value for money, so it’s unfortunate that much of the text, and particularly many of the captions to the illustrations are in pale grey and in such a small font, making reading more than a few pages at a time quite a challenge.

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"[A] highly informative and beautifully illustrated book."---Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today "[This book] filled me with wonder and awe."---Margaret Roach, A Way to Garden "[An] amazing book. . . . The message is the inter-relatedness of the biodiversity around us, which is far closer and more complex than we could ever have guessed." * An Beachaire * "Eaton's richly illustrated book will inform and entertain."---Eric Brown, News Shopper "A beautifully illustrated, very readable and scientific compendium of the biology, ecology, behaviour and diversity of wasps and, in particular, their relationship with us."---Malcolm Aldridge, Bulletin of the Amateur Entomological Society "This book will make you love wasps and appreciate them as amazing, mostly solitary insects thriving in nearly every Earthly habitat. . . . [A] beautiful book. " * Bees for Development * "If you respect wasps only because of their sting and how they can sometimes prey on your bees, this book is likely to transform your respect to awe. . . . Written in entertaining, mostly double-page chunks, the book is ideal for dipping into."---Stephen Fleming, Bee Craft "A richly illustrated introduction to the biology and ecology of wasps . . . . An attractive and enjoyable introduction to wasp biology, written by an author who clearly delights in the beauty of these wonderful insects."---Andrew Wakeham-Dawson, Entomologist's Monthly Magazine "[This book] has exquisite photographs and these are some of the best and highest quality I have ever seen surrounded by appropriate text. . . . This is simply a stunning book and provides a beautiful comprehensive visual journey into the complex world of wasps. "---Roy Stewart, British Naturalist's Association

Author Biography

Eric R. Eaton is a writer, editor, and consultant who has worked as an entomologist for several leading institutions, including the Smithsonian and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. He is the lead author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America and the coauthor of Insects Did It First. He runs the blogs Bug Eric and Sense of Misplaced. Twitter @BugEric