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How Not to be Eaten: The Insects Fight Back


By: Gilbert Waldbauer

221 pages, 10 b/w illustrations

University of California Press

Hardback | Jan 2012 | #195615 | ISBN-13: 9780520269125
Availability: In stock
Clearance price: £8.98 £19.95 (Save £10.97) $11/€10 approx

About this book

All animals must eat. But who eats who, and why, or why not? Because insects outnumber and collectively outweigh all other animals combined, they comprise the largest amount of animal food available for potential consumption. How do they avoid being eaten? From masterful disguises to physical and chemical lures and traps, predatory insects have devised ingenious and bizarre methods of finding food. Equally ingenious are the means of hiding, mimicry, escape, and defense waged by prospective prey in order to stay alive.

This absorbing and engaging book demonstrates that the relationships between the eaten and the eaters is a central – perhaps the central – aspect of what goes on in the community of organisms, which, together with their physical environment, constitute an ecosystem. By explaining the many ways in which insects avoid becoming a meal for a predator, and the ways in which predators evade their defensive strategies, Gilbert Waldbauer conveys an essential understanding of the unrelenting co-evolutionary forces at work in the world around us.



1. Insects in the Web of Life
2. The Eaters of Insects
3. Fleeing and Staying under Cover
4. Hiding in Plain Sight
5. Bird Dropping Mimicry and Other Disguises
6. Flash Colors and Eyespots
7. Safety in Numbers
8. Defensive Weapons and Warning Signals
9. The Predators' Countermeasures
10. Protection by Deception

Selected References

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Gilbert Waldbauer is Professor Emeritus of Entomology at University of Illinois. He is the author of eight books, including Fireflies, Honey, and Silk (UC Press), A Walk around the Pond, and What Good Are Bugs?

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