505 pages, 229 b/w illus. 4 colour illus.
Written for academic researchers and graduate students in entomology, this is the first comprehensive analysis of Sciomyzid flies. Sciomyzid flies are important as prime candidates for the biological control of snails and slugs that help transmit diseases such as schistosomiasis or are important agricultural pests. They also serve as a paradigm for the study of the evolution of feeding behavior in predatory insects. Starting with analyses of malacophagy in general and then in Diptera specifically, all important aspects of the Sciomyzidae are discussed, including behavior, ecology, life cycles, morphology, and identification.
New behavioral and morphological classifications and hypotheses are proposed on the basis of unpublished information and a complete analysis of the extensive literature. Also included are keys to adults, larvae and puparia and a checklist of world species, with information on geographical range and the location of type specimens. The accompanying DVD includes Clifford O. Berg's classic film on the biology of Sciomyzidae and biological control of snails.
'In this magnificently comprehensive analysis, Lloyd Vernon Knutson and Jean-Claude Vala establish a new standard by which all other systematic biological expositions will be evaluated. Current, thorough, thought-provoking, and highly readable, the Biology of Snail-Killing Sciomyzidae Flies provides an enormous amount of information across a broad spectrum of topics that range from alpha-level taxonomy to applied biological control and the evolution of predator/parasitoid feeding behaviors. The authors' unsurpassed knowledge of this group allows them to distill the essence of nearly 2,000 references into a single reliable source of information. The manner in which so much information is presented - clearly, concisely, and in an extraordinarily well organized fashion - makes it instantly accessible. This book will be of great value not only to dipterists and entomologists in general but also to all those seeking an exemplary, broad-based treatment of one of the most thoroughly studied families of organisms.' William L. Murphy, Research Collaborator, Smithsonian Institution
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