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Academic & Professional Books  Insects & other Invertebrates  Insects  Insects: General

The Insects An Outline of Entomology

By: Penny J Gullan(Author), Peter S Cranston(Author)
595 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
The Insects
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  • The Insects ISBN: 9781118846155 Edition: 5 Hardback Oct 2014 Usually dispatched within 5 days
Price: £51.95
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles Recommended titles

About this book

Insects represent over half of the planet's biological diversity. This popular textbook provides a comprehensive introduction to this extraordinary diversity, and places entomology central to the theory and practice of evolutionary and ecological studies.

Fully revised, this fifth edition opens with a chapter concerning the popular side of insect studies, including insects in citizen science, zoos and butterfly houses, and insects as food for humans and animals. Key features of insect structure, function, behaviour, ecology and classification are integrated with appropriate molecular studies. Much of The Insects is organized around major biological themes: living on the ground, in water, on plants, in colonies, and as predators, parasites/parasitoids and prey insects. A strong evolutionary theme is maintained throughout.

There is major revision to the chapter on systematics and a new chapter, Insects in a Changing World, includes insect responses to, and the consequences of, both climate change and human-assisted global alterations to distributions. Updated 'Taxoboxes' demonstrate topical issues and provide concise information on all aspects of each of the 28 major groupings (orders) of insects, plus the three orders of non-insect hexapods. New boxes describe a worrying increase in insect threats to landscape and commercial trees (including eucalypts, palms and coffee) and explain the value of genetic data, including evolutionary developmental biology and DNA barcoding, in insect biodiversity studies.

The authors maintain the clarity and conciseness of earlier editions, and extend the profuse illustrations with new hand-drawn figures. Over 50 colour photographs, together with the informative text and an accompanying website with links to video clips, appendices, textboxes and further reading lists, encourage a deeper scientific study of insects. The Insects is intended as the principal text for students studying entomology, as well as a reference text for undergraduate and graduate courses in the fields of ecology, agriculture, fisheries and forestry, palaeontology, zoology, and medical and veterinary science.


List of colour plates ix
List of boxes xiii
Preface to the fifth edition xv
Preface to the fourth edition xvii
Preface to the third edition xix
Preface to the second edition xxi
Preface and acknowledgments for first edition xxiii
About the companion website xxv

1 The importance of diversity and conservation of insects 1
2 External anatomy 26
3 Internal anatomy and physiology 56
4 Sensory systems and behaviour 95
5 Reproduction 125
6 Insect development and life histories 156
7 Insect systematics: phylogeny and classification 190
8 Insect evolution and biogeography 227
9 Ground-dwelling insects 249
10 Aquatic insects 271
11 Insects and plants 289
12 Insect societies 322
13 Insect predation and parasitism 354
14 Insect defence 377
15 Medical and veterinary entomology 397
16 Pest management 418
17 Insects in a changing world 457
18 Methods in entomology:collecting preservationcuration and identification 474

References 555
Index 563
Appendix: A reference guide to orders 589

Customer Reviews


Penny Gullan and Peter Cranston are professors in the Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, USA., where they jointly teach undergraduate courses in biodiversity, insect systematics and general entomology, and conduct research on Coccoidea and Chironomidae, respectively. They maintain strong connections to the Australian National University, Canberra, where, as Visiting Fellows, much of this fourth edition was revised.

By: Penny J Gullan(Author), Peter S Cranston(Author)
595 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Media reviews

Reviews of previous editions:

"Gullan and Cranston has become the standard in the field [...] engagingly written and packed with interesting and up-to-date entomological examples [...] .the most thoroughly updated and appealing general entomology textbook on the market."
American Entomologist, Winter 2004

"Students wanting a single book to give them the whole picture need look no further [...] Since receiving The Insects I have referred to it daily, my other standby reference texts meriting only an occasional glance. It is an extremely well written and thoroughly up-to-date text, amply and clearly illustrated with magnificent black-and-white drawings."
– Review of the first edition in Nature

"[...] a seriously comprehensive book that any student of entomology should have"
– Dr John Feltwell, Independent Consultant Ecologist

"an excellent teaching resource and reference work [...] Penny Gullan and Peter Cranston have certainly written an eminently usable textbook that will be popular with people lecturing entomology courses and with biologists interested in comprehensive and modern synopsis of the most diverse class of animals."
African Entomology, 2005

"this book [...] is not simply a textbook. It is well written and eminently readable with the authors' enthusiasm for their subject apparent throughout. It also has an international scope [...] Consequently whilst being an invaluable reference source for students, tutors and researchers alike, it will also appeal to amateurs interested in learning more about insects than the basic facts. All in all, this book will make a valuable and much used addition to any school, university library or personal library."
Journal of Insect Conservation, June 2005

"This book is probably the most well-written textbook in entomology in our present time [...] As an introduction to the broad field of entomology, this textbook is highly recommended."
Norwegian Journal of Entomology, August 2005

"This established and popular textbook is the definitive guide to the study of insects [...] "
Ethology, Ecology and Evolution, August 2005

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