Stick insects are a small but publicly popular group of insects. Their large size, vegetarian habits and slow movements endear them to many people for whom many insects are too flighty or potentially dangerous to be the focus of much positive attention. There are a good number of smaller books introducing phasmids and how to keep them to the general public, but this is the first book of this scope that I have seen.
Scientifically accurate and well illustrated, as you would expect of a book written by a pillar of the Phasmid Study Group, this work contains an amazing amount of information. Divided into three parts, it starts with an introduction to the phasmids in general. This 33 page section includes Morphology, Classification, Distribution, Conservation and Collecting Code, Courtship and Mating, Phasmid Record Holders, Life History and Development, and Defence and Phasmid Enemies.
Part 2: 23 pages in length, takes a detailed look at Collecting and Studying Techniques. It includes not only information on Keeping Live Specimens, Importation, Collecting Killing and Storing, but also a useful list of Phasmid Collections Around the World. Finally it ends with a lovely section on Phasmid Oddities : Elaborate Stories, Beliefs and Poems.
Part 3: introduces us to the insects in all their fascinating diversity. Starting with species naturalised to the UK it moves on to European and the Afro-Tropical species. From here it looks at the Nearctic, Neo-tropical, Oriental, Australian and New Zealand fauna. This section ends with a look at phasmids in the fossil record.
The author's extensive experience and deep love of his subject are evident throughout. The colour plates are excellent and include many species not often seen by any but the keenest collectors.
The book ends with an Index to Scientific Names, a list of Scientific Names equated with Common Names and 3 appendices; 1 - Glossary of terms, 2 - Further information/Sources of supply, 3 - References to major taxonomic publications.
All in all this is another very useful publication from the AES and at £ . is good value for money.
Habitat Conservation for Insects, a neglected green issueby R. Fry and D. Lonsdale (Eds)
A guide to Moth Traps and there Useby R. R. Fry and P. Waring
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