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Insects: Evolutionary Success, Unrivaled Diversity, and World Domination


By: David B Rivers(Author)

474 pages, 282 colour & b/w photos, 35 colour & 26 b/w illustrations

Johns Hopkins University Press

Hardback | May 2017 | #234848 | ISBN-13: 9781421421704
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £73.99 $94/€83 approx

About this book

Designed as an introduction to the intriguing world of insect biology, Insects: Evolutionary Success, Unrivaled Diversity, and World Domination examines familiar entomological topics in nontraditional ways. Author David B. Rivers gives important concepts relatable context through a pop culture lens, and he covers subjects that are not typical for entomology textbooks, including the impact of insects on the human condition, the sex lives of insects, why insects are phat but not fat, forensic entomology, and the threats that some insects pose to humanity.

Each chapter presents clear and concise key concepts, chapter reviews, review questions following Bloom's taxonomy of learning, web links to videos and other resources, and breakout boxes (called Fly Spots) that capture student interest with unique and entertaining facts related to entomology. Focusing on both traditional and cutting-edge aspects of insect biology and packed with extensive learning resources, Insects covers a wide range of topics suitable for life science majors, as well as non-science students, including:
- the positive and negative influences of insects on everyday human life
- insect abundance
- insect classification (here presented in the context of social media)
- insect feeding, communication, defense, and sex
- how insects are responding to climate change
- forensic entomology
- how insects can be used as weapons of war
- how insects relate to national security
- why insects have wings
- how to read pesticide labels

"The text is penned with a vernacular that is fresh and relevant to current undergraduate students and oozes with an entomological swagger representing the passion of the insect world – a world that interested students will find much more enriching through the compound lens of this book."
– John R. Wallace, Millersville University Center for Environmental Sciences


Preface vii

1 An Introduction to Insects: Busting the Myths, Lies, and Urban Legends   1
2 History of Entomology: A Discipline Founded on Death   23
3 Insects Are Not All Bad: Beneficial Aspects of Insect–Human Interactions   52
4 Insects Shaping Human Civilization: Turns Out They Might Be Bad After All   87
5 “Dressed” for Success: The Insect Body Plan   115
6 The Insect’s New Clothes: Growing by Shedding   148
7 Insect Facebook: The Basics of Insect Classification   169
8 Insects Are Phat but Not Fat: Diet, Nutrition, and Food Assimilation   193
9 Sex in the City and Everywhere Else: Insect Reproductive Strategies   219
10 You Can Teach an Insect New Tricks: Learning and Memory in Six-Legged Beasts   251
11 Instant Messaging in the Insect World: Communication with Kin and Non-Kin   276
12 Small but Fortified: Insects Are Not Defenseless   302
13 Life on the Edge: Coping with Stress   330
14 Revenge of the Humans: Insects as the Hunted   354
15 Forensic Entomology: Insects as Tools in Legal Investigations   380
16 Insect Mercenaries: Weapons for Human Warfare and National Security   404
17 Invasive and Elusive: New Insect Threats to the Human Condition   428

Appendix 455
Glossary 461

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David B. Rivers is a professor of biology and the director of forensic studies at Loyola University Maryland. He is the coauthor of The Science of Forensic Entomology.

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