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Fear and fascination set wasps apart from other insects. Despite their iconic form and distinctive colours, they are surrounded by myth and misunderstanding. Often portrayed in cartoon-like stereotypes bordering on sad parody, wasps have an unwelcome and undeserved reputation for aggressiveness bordering on vindictive spite. This mistrust is deep-seated in a human history that has awarded commercial and spiritual value to other insects, such as bees, but has failed to recognize any worth in wasps.
Leading entomologist Richard Jones redresses the balance in this enlightening and entertaining guide to the natural and cultural history of these powerful carnivores. Jones delves into their complex nesting and colony behavior, their unique caste system and their major role at the centre of many food webs. Drawing on up-to-date scientific concepts and featuring many striking colour illustrations, Jones successfully shows exactly why wasps are worthy of greater understanding and appreciation.
Richard Jones is one of the UK's leading entomologists. He is the author of numerous books on nature including Mosquito (Reaktion, 2012) Extreme Insects, Call of Nature: The Secret Life of Dung (2010) and Beetles (2018) in the New Naturalists series. He lives in East Dulwich, London.