Daniel Otte offers a comprehensive taxonomic treatise on all known species of grasshoppers from the Gulf of Panama to Alaska. Grasshoppers are a dominant form of life in most terrestrial habitats. The abundance of grasshoppers and the ease of obtaining them have brought about their extensive use in a wide variety of biological studies. It is probably fair to say that grasshoppers are biologically better understood than any equivalent group of insects. They were used in pioneering studies in genetics and are increasingly being used to test evolutionary, ecological, and physiological theories. Unfortunately, much of this work is still based on a poor classification, and many studies are hindered by difficulties which arise in identifying the species.
Now for the first time scientists are provided with:
- Illustrated keys and lists for distinguishing genera and species;
- Information on distributional limits, habitat preference, ecology, behavior, and life cycle;
- A list of pertinent references;
- Point distribution maps;
- A taxonomic index as well as a history of name changes.
But the book’s most spectacular feature is the author’s detailed drawings of all species in full color. The North American Grasshoppers will be especially useful to scientists in agriculture, environmental assessment, biogeography, grassland ecology, and insect taxonomy, and will also appeal to amateur naturalists. Undoubtedly, it will long stand as a definitive reference in its field.