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An Introduction to Entomology, Volume 2: Or, Elements of the Natural History of Insects

New Edition

Series: An Introduction to Entomology Volume: 2

By: William Kirby (Author), William Spence (Author)

544 pages, b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Oct 2016 | Edition: 2 | #218963 | ISBN-13: 9781108065566
Available for pre-order: Due Oct 2016 Details
NHBS Price: £30.99 $38/€35 approx

About this book

A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.

A Cambridge-educated clergyman, William Kirby (1759–1850) published his first entomological work on the bees in his Suffolk parish. By contrast, the early writings of William Spence (c.1782–1860) were concerned with political economy. Having developed an interest in insects, Spence became acquainted with Kirby in 1805 and the pair collaborated on this influential four-volume illustrated work, originally published between 1815 and 1826. Spence researched for several months in the library of Sir Joseph Banks, to whom the work is dedicated, but illness later forced Kirby to complete the project. Significantly, he distanced himself from Spence's secular treatment of insect behaviour. Charles Darwin, who had the work with him aboard the Beagle, deemed this 'the best discussion on instincts ever published'.

Volume 2 is reissued here in its second edition of 1818, which was in the Beagle library. This volume includes Spence's coverage of instinct.


16. Societies of insects
17. Societies of insects continued (white ants, ants)
18. Perfect societies of insects continued (wasps, humble-bees)
19. Perfect societies of insects continued (hive-bee)
20. Perfect societies of insects concluded (hive-bee)
21. Means by which insects defend themselves
22. Motions of insects (larva and pupa)
23. Motions of insects continued (imago)
24. Noises produced by insects
25. Luminous insects
26. Hybernation and torpidity of insects
27. Instinct of insects

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