Cover: Insects through the Seasons, from Harvard University PressCover: Insects through the Seasons in PAPERBACK

Insects through the Seasons

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$31.00 • £26.95 • €28.95

ISBN 9780674454897

Publication Date: 02/11/1998

Academic Trade

22 line illustrations


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[Waldbauer’s] style is lively and light, and he manages to explain scientific evidence behind the ideas he presents without lapsing into jargon. His passages describing insect life can be poetic...The book delivers a sophisticated view of ecology, evolution and animal behavior...Sure, Insects through the Seasons has more sex and violence than prime-time TV, but this is the real birds and the bees, and Waldbauer tells it like it is.—Faye Flam, Philadelphia Inquirer

Insects through the a joyous romp through amazing-but-true natural history stories of what makes insects tick...Waldbauer’s clear prose is full of fascinating detail, and it is a pleasure to read. His enthusiasm for his subject comes through loud and clear, a vital ingredient for interesting readers in what he has to say...Even for the professional entomologist, there is plenty that may well be new. There are vignettes here to delight any reader, including a great deal from Waldbauer’s research naturally.—Francis Gilbert, New Scientist

Insects through the Seasons is chock-a-block with insect facts, anecdotes and good, old-fashioned natural history...There are chapters on courtship, caring for offspring and finding food, which Waldbauer manages to keep fresh by resisting the use of well-trodden examples. There are also more unusual chapters on, for example, insects’ use of silk and the problems faced (and solved) by parasitic insects. Throughout, Waldbauer places his insects in the wider context of the natural world as a whole...[An] inspirational book.—Stuart Blackman, BBC Wildlife

Mr. Waldbauer...knows his bugs and is a masterful storyteller as well. His protagonist is the cecropia moth, common nocturnal insect of the Midwest. He follows it through its life cycle, digressing frequently...The many stories of the `most successful animals on earth’ are fascinating...Mr. Waldbauer’s entertaining tales of insect behavior gracefully illustrate contemporary evolutionary biology theory...Without insects or with a drastic decrease in their activity, the world as we know it would cease. Mr. Waldbauer’s story of the gentle cecropia moth goes far toward explaining why.Washington Times

A natural-history treasury, this elegantly illustrated volume traces the life cycles of numerous insect species by describing their methods of courtship, mating, raising young, self-defense, recognizing and eating food, and surviving seasonal changes.Booklist

[A] thoroughly gratifying survey of that most successful animal group...Starting with the optimistic swarm of spring, Waldbauer paints the landscape of each season, filling it with every manner of creature (though insects take center stage) and describing their evolutionary talents...He never has to stretch for the fantastic or sensational example, for the insect world is one long, strange parade of curiosities: critters with ears on their legs, teeth on their genitals, the smell of carbona on their breath. Waldbauer gives the scoop on the tricks of a dead leaf butterfly, cracks the code of the cricket’s chirp, tends bar for a boozing moth, shares the satin bowerbird’s obsession with the color blue. In the process, he puts the entire ecological picture in context...Waldbauer’s wisdom is served up like a tantalizing tray of hors d’oeuvres, none of which will likely be declined.Kirkus Reviews

Gilbert Waldbauer is one of those few lucky people paid to pursue their hobby. Reading Insects Through the Seasons, one discovers why he finds entomology endlessly fascinating...And as if his words, a blend of science and sentiment, were not enough to bring the subject to life, a cecropia moth flies across the bottom corner of the book as one flicks the pages. Here readers will discover strange stories and fantastic facts about the lives of insects and the many ways in which millions of years of evolution have equipped these organisms, arguably the most successful on our planet.—George C. McGavin, Nature

These excellent books [Gilbert Waldbauer’s Insects through the Seasons and Bernd Heinrich’s Thermal Warriors] are best read fully and carefully, and in the order just listed. Each summarizes a wealth of intriguing information about a group often and justifiably characterized as the most successful of living creatures. Waldbauer, in the more general of the two books, has hit on the clever scheme of following insect life through the changing demands of seasonal changes, thus giving structure to a wealth of information. Heinrich, by contrast, provides a dazzling account of a particular and little-known aspect of insect life--thermoregulation.—Russell Stevens, Phi Beta Kappa, Key Reporter

Tracing an animal’s life through the seasons is a common strategy for the single-species monograph, but it is a mere marker for this book. Waldbauer uses the yearly cycle of the cecropia moth as a base to which he periodically returns while presenting an impressive array of the tactics the moth’s fellow insects and arthropod relatives use to live and thrive. Those methods...are phenomenally various and gratifyingly intriguing...A real natural history treasury, this is an elegant volume, too, thanks to the many excellent line drawings that entertainingly include a flip-book of a cecropia in flight on the lower right-hand-page corners.—Ray Olson, Booklist

A lively, well-written introduction to an endlessly fascinating side of natural history.Publishers Weekly

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