Cover: The Pollen Wasps: Ecology and Natural History of the Masarinae, from Harvard University PressCover: The Pollen Wasps in E-DITION

The Pollen Wasps

Ecology and Natural History of the Masarinae

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674281684

Publication Date: 06/01/1996

340 pages

28 halftones, 43 linecuts, 25 color illustrations


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Sarah Gess, in compiling ‘The Pollen Wasps’ set herself the ambitious task of producing a publication that is easily readable, highly scientific, containing much new information, and a review of the group worldwide… This book contains a wealth of information and is an outstanding contribution to the world of scientific literature. It is neatly presented and well illustrated… For its scientific content, this book is highly recommended for scientists interested in pollination biology, ecology and conservation in arid and semiarid areas, and in aculeate Hymenoptera. This book offers an opportunity to develop an understanding and appreciation of these intriguing wasps. I found the book stimulating and hope it will inspire others to develop an interest in the little animals to which the author has dedicated much of her life.—C.D. Eardley, African Entomology

Dr. Gess has produced a very interesting study, rich in information and questions. I cannot do justice to the gems of information scattered throughout, nor the excellent summary of the present state of out knowledge on this group. This work should serve as the basis for many future studies. Evolutionary questions on sociality and nest construction; studies on distribution and insect-plant associations; and biogeographic experiments comes to mind. At the very least it should provide some ideas for investigations on the small-scale effects of land management policies.—Eugène Marais, Cimbebasia: Journal of the State Museum, Windhoek

[A] comprehensive study of a unique and fascinating subfamily of insects which will be of interest to ethologists, ecologists, and natural historians generally… The book is copiously illustrated by clear line drawings, maps, black and white and SEM photographs, as well as by beautiful colour photographs of the Karoo scenery and its flowers, and of pollen wasps visiting them.—J.L. Cloudsley-Thompson, Journal of Arid Environments

Gess has brought under one cover, from diverse and sometimes obscure sources, just about everything known of the natural history of the masarines, including many unpublished findings. The book covers systematics, biogeography, life cycles, nesting behavior, enemies and associates, and flower associations, and is liberally referenced… This book is recommended for institutional libraries, for hymenopterists, for those interested in pollination and plant-insect interaction, and for those who marvel at the organic diversity of this planet and worry for its preservation.—V.J. Tepedino and P.F. Torchio, Quarterly Review of Biology

Recommended. A good book on the natural history of an interesting group of wasps.—James M. Carpenter, American Museum of Natural History

This study brings together scattered information from many sources on a unique and fascinating group of insects that is little known to non-specialists. It will make a major contribution to comparative ethology and to ecology and will be of interest to many biologists. Sarah Gess has spent countless days in the field, and her accomplishments are almost beyond belief. This book will be read eagerly by a wide spectrum of biologists. This is one of the finest and most uniformly interesting studies of its kind that I have read in 40 years in academia.—Howard E. Evans, Colorado State University (Emeritus), author of Comparative Ethology and Natural History of Sand Wasps

A substantial and scholarly effort in the same mold as Howard Evans’s classic Comparative Ethology and Natural History of Sand Wasps. This book will prove to be a valuable reference to ethologists, ecologists, and natural historians and an inspiration to students searching for an insect group worthy of further attention. It is fortunate that Sarah Gess, with her extensive field experience in South Africa, the center of diversity of the subfamily, has compiled her observations into a monographic review of the biology of these little known wasps.—Robert L. Jeanne, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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Book Club Spotlight: The Privileged Poor

As students around the world deliberate their options for further education, only made more challenging in a pandemic, we’re reminded that getting in is only half the battle. In The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students, Anthony Abraham Jack asks how—and why—do disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges? What can schools can do differently if these students are to thrive? As back to school season begins, we spoke to two university book clubs that read and discussed The Privileged Poor this summer.