Cover: What Good Are Bugs?: Insects in the Web of Life, from Harvard University PressCover: What Good Are Bugs? in PAPERBACK

What Good Are Bugs?

Insects in the Web of Life

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$31.00 • £24.95 • €28.00

ISBN 9780674016323

Publication Date: 10/25/2004

Trade

384 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

30 halftones

World

Persuasive, rollicking, and informative… He may not get you to hug your termites, but you will see them in a whole new light. Bugs are truly awesome in numbers and variety… On the surface, bugs seem so alien to us. But in anecdote after anecdote, Waldbauer gives us plenty with which we can identify… Waldbauer celebrates not only the good things bugs do but also the bizarre...What Waldbauer shows us is that bugs are vitally important to our planet. They help plant life grow. They are great cleanup crews, removing waste material… They till and aerate soil. They provide food for all kinds of animals, including fish and birds and some mammals… Clearly, bugs are good.—Vicki Croke, Boston Globe

This book will open the eyes of readers who, like the great majority of mankind, regard insects with contempt or disgust. It will make them look on our six-legged fellow creatures with more interest and sympathy, and will thus add a new dimension to their own lives.—Anthony Daniels, Sunday Telegraph (UK)

Written in a gentle style that is easy to read yet still authoritative, the breadth of insect ecology is paraded before us.—Richard Jones, BBC Wildlife

Waldbauer is an entomologist with an unwavering verve for his pursuits. Here he catalogs ecologically important insects by their ‘occupations’ within an ecosystem, explaining how they live and how they make possible life in general. Among insects’ occupations are their roles in regulating plant and animal populations and tilling the soil. In some cases, their capabilities and behaviors are nothing short of mind-boggling. Waldbauer reports that one species of Great Plains ants has brought to the surface about 1.7 tons of subsoil per acre. An average colony of honeybees harvests 44 pounds of pollen and 265 pounds of nectar a year. Such anecdotes combine with the author’s keen insight into the mechanics of ecosystems to make a strong case on behalf of the lowly insect.Science News

Waldbauer gives us a bugs-eye view of the world in this well-written and entertaining book that will change the way you think about insects.—B.F., Southeastern Naturalist

From Our Blog

Jacket: How To Be Gay, by David M. Halperin, from Harvard University Press

Celebrating Pride Month, Part II

To celebrate Pride Month, we are highlighting excerpts from books that explore the lives and experiences of the LGBT+ community. This second excerpt comes from How To Be Gay, a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, in which David M. Halperin, a pioneer of LGBTQ studies, dares to suggest that gayness is a way of being that gay men must learn from one another to become who they are.