The microlepidoptera are the least studied of the lepidoptera, nevertheless they represent a major portion of the lepidopteran fauna of any environment. A part of the problem has been the lack of competent monographs on the group. Apollo books are in the process of removing this obstacle to their study through the production of a twenty volume set that will make the whole group available to anyone with the will to sit down and do the work required.
This excellently produced work covers the families Momphidae, Batrachedridae, Stathmopodidae, Agnoxenidae, Cosmopterigidae and Chrysopeleiidae. In doing so 163 species and 37 genera are recognised. Of these, one genus and ten species are newly described and for new synonyms are recognised.
For each species there is a short textual description accompanied by notes on distribution and biology which includes information of flight timetables and larval food plants. Furthermore each species is illustrated inwater-colourr and have their genitalia illuminated in line drawings for both sexes. For the genera Cosmopterix, Eteobalea and Vulcaniella a key is supplied to species.
There are threeindicess to Genus, Species and Host plant, 15 pages of references, and a distribution catalogue following Karsholt and Razowski. Personally I prefer maps for distribution as they can show greater subtlety and present more information in a more easily accessible form. The checklistt is at the front of the volume. Many additional line drawings depicting the damage to host plants caused by larval feeding, and or, pupation add, both to the books utility, and its beauty.
Plume moths are among the first moths non-entomologists learn to distinguish as a sub-category of the moths. Unfortunately not much has been published on them as a group, the last annotated catalogues being produced in 1913 by Meyrick, and this work fills a gap in the current literature quite nicely. The author Cees Gielis is an internationally recognised expert in these groups who along with a few other workers such as Arenberger, Bigot, Buhl, Fazekas, Gibeaux, Nel and Zagulajev has been one of the main contributors to publications in this field.
This work is a comprehensive catalogue for the Superfamily Pterophoroidea (Pterophoridae and Agdistopidae) and the Superfamily Alucitoidea (Alucitidae and Tineodidae). The present generic position of each species is presented, together with the original name of its description, including genus name, species name, author, year of publication and country in which the type locality lies. A number of species have been transferred to other genera and a number of synonyms are presented. One new species is also mentioned Alucita kazachstanica Gielis, spec. n. For each species a distribution list is supplied mentioning the countries where the species has been recorded.
The book is well set up and includes a list of fossil species, and indices to Dipterous parasites, Hymenopterous parasites and host plants as well as to both Superfamilies. Presented in this way all the information is instantly available.
This rather unusual book from Apollo Press came as a pleasant surprise, however I had a little difficulty deciding how to classify it. It is a fascinating book to browse through, yet it deals only with a few examples of each family it deals with so it could not be called a text. In the end I decided to describe it as a coffee-table resource, meaning that it has many of the properties of a coffee table book, but is also a useful information resource. The book is wide ranging in that it includes insects from all continents and a wide variety of habitats.
The book is dedicated to those insects that live, at least part of their lives in water, it comprises 900+ SEM photos of excellent quality and with magnifications ranging from 2.5 to 12,000. The central themes of the book are the 'basic functions of an aquatic life', respiration and osmoregulation have been described for all groups of insects, including Collembola, which possess aquatic members. Many of the plates show sections of the animal's anatomy at several magnifications. Each plate has 6 photos and opposite it there is a textual reference to the relevant aspects of the animals biology as illustrated in the plate, there is also a title-description of each photo on the plates. The textual information itself is vast, ranging over the entire field of aquatic entomology and would amount to a 170 page text of the morphology physiology of aquatic insects.
The beauty of many of the microstructures of the insect cuticle, and sometimes also it ugliness are well illustrated in this fascinating volume. I can see this book being of great interest and enjoyment to both professional and amateur entomologists as well as being of great value to researchers and students who have in anyway to deal with the ecology, morphology and/or physiology of aquatic insects. As usual with books from Apollo Press this volume is not only attractively produced but also attractively priced.
Apollo books continue their recent record of excellent entomological works with this first volume of a series of six covering the Geometrid Moths of Europe. The book is produced to the normal high standard I have come to expect from Apollo and will be of great value, once the series is complete.
It starts with a 77 page introduction to moths with particular reference to the Geometridae. It is pleasing to see within this some concrete data in relationship to the number of moths killed by motorists as compared to the number killed by collectors. Motor vehicles in fact extract an horrendous death toll on all animals, vertebrates and invertebrates all across the world. The introduction in this volume is so comprehensive because it is the introduction to the whole series.
The systematic section deals with the 41 species included with the 5 small subfamilies: Archiearinae; Orthostixinae; Desmobathrinae; Alsophilinae; Geometrinae. The systematic section is well laid out with clear concise descriptions. The distribution maps show both the localities of examined specimens, and the presumed over-all distribution of the species. The 8 colour plates are clear, well produced and include a considerable number of forms, as many as 17 in one species being illustrated. The genitalia, both male and female of all 41 species are also illustrated. The introduction is liberally illustrated with both colour photos and B/W illustrations.
All in all this is a very pleasing book which sets a high standard for the rest of the series. Highly recommended.
Welcome to another fine production from Apollo Books. This work will come as a welcome relief to anyone working on Sesiidae in Europe who has remained undecided as to whether to buy the 1999 publication of volume one of the Handbook of Palaearctic Lepidoptera by Gem Publishing. While this book is not as comprehensive in it coverage of variations, especially in the plates, and obviously covers a smaller area it is considerably cheaper. The two volumes share Z. Lastuvka as an author. To me this book is also preferable in that all the keys are placed together in the front of the book and are therefore easier to work through. Also all the nomenclatural changes are listed in the front of the book on page 6 and so are easy to check.
The colour plates are all clear as are the genitalia illustrations. The distribution maps are printed with the genitalia illustrations, which while unusual is not a problem. It may even be seen as a benefit by some workers, especially as there are quite adequate text descriptions of distribution within the systematic section. The text as usual is in English and I found no problems with it.
I have not found many Sesiidae since I have been here in Greece, I have been concentrating on other groups, but I have easily identified those I have found with this volume.
All in all this is an excellent work at an excellent price. Highly recommended.
It was a most pleasant surprise when this book arrived in my letterbox. Finding literature on the Amblypygi, as with most of the less well known arachnid orders, is extremely difficult for people without access to a major entomological library, such as the RES library in London. Effectively this means the bulk of people interested in Amblypygids outside of the academic community have been restricted to what little real information thwey could pick up from fellow enthusiasts. This book will be a most welcome solution to the problem of obtaining accurate data on Amblypygids and should prove to be very popular with arachnologists around the world.
The author has been studying these amazing animals for over 25 years. He has brought considerable academic expertise with him to the task of writing this book and it is fair to say that just about everything that is known about Amblypygids is available here. Many people will be dissappointed by the fact that they keys only go to genera. Considering that there are only 120 known species a key to species would not have bulked out the book to much, and would have added considerably to the books value to amateur arachnologists. However Amblypygid taxonomy is currently in considerable confusion reguarding species level identifications for a number of genera and it may well be that producing a key to species was just not possible at the moment.
Nevertheless the book is well written and illustrated and will be essential reading to all those interested in these amazing, though, in some unenlightened peoples eyes, ugly animals. The large amount of ecological material that the author has collected together is particularly interesting and the chapter on Ambylpygi in captivity will be of special interest to the many people with an interest in keeping Amblypygids as pets, and or research animals.
Chapter Headings:- 1)Introduction and Diagnosis; 2)On the History of Studies on Amblypygi; 3)External Morphology; 4)Who is Who among the Whip Spiders; 5)General Biology and Anatomy; 6)Distribution and Ecology; 7)Endangered Species; 8)Systematics; 9)Whip Spiders in Captivity; 10)Literature; Subject Index; Index of Animal Taxa
CD with songs of all species included (49 tracks) apollo books have done me the honour of sending me another book in Danish, proving perhaps that they were not too offended by what I wrote about "De danske guldsmede".
Denmark boasts 32 species of orthoptera, most of them reasonably common throughout Europe. This then is all the Orhtoptera of Denmark, not just the grasshoppers as the title may seem to indicate to English language users may suspect from the title. Yes the text is in Danish but do not let that put you off, this is a lovelly book.
The photographs are excellent and the CD recordings clear, further to this the illustrations for the keys are clear and concise. I found I was able to use the keys in this volume with a little effort, unlike "De danske guldsmede", despite their being in Danish, because the clear structure and nature of the illustrations. I was helped by the fact that some of the anatomical terms, such as, 'pronotum' and 'antennae' are easily recognisable to English speakers even in their Danish form.
Each species report includes a distribution map for Denmark, a sonogram and an easy to recognise link to the relevent CD track numbers as well as the Danish text.
All in all I was impressed with what I saw in this book. I am sure it will prove useful to those with an interest in orthoptera.
This publication follows Volume One in this series (on the Hydraenidae) by the same author, Michael Hansen, who has done an immense amount of work on these groups, and has achieved world wide renown. It is the first complete catalogue of World's Hydrophiloidea to be published since that of A. Knisch in 1924 in the series "Coleoptorum Catalogus". It brings up to date the changed views on what constitute the superfamily, primarily in excluding the Hydraenidae. The equivalent number of species listed in the present work is around 2800 compared with around 1370 in Knisch's work. It also brings up to date the synonymy of the group in the light of changes in the rules governing nomenclature.
There is an important section explaining proposed replacement names whch seem necessery following the author's researches, and appendices listing fossil species of recent genera, nomina nuda, and species excluded from the Hydrophiloidea although originally described undr hydrophiloid genera.
Each taxon listed is given a list of synonyms with dates and other important information, and its distribution in terms of major geographical regions, countries, and in many cases states or territories is mentioned. There are clear explanatory notes of the author's methods and special mention is made of the difficulties when dealing with the vast area of the Russian Federation.
The whole work has been thoroughly and deeply researched, and is well presented so as to be of maximum benefit to its readers. The few mistakes I detected are trivial, and do not effect this book's usefulness, nor indeed its major importance to serious students.
There is additionally a list of references cited which runs to over fifty pages, and a complete indices which are well arranged and lucid.
Michael Hansen has compiled by painstaking hard work a very important work of reference.
This small, compact volume acts as an excellent adjunct to Ponter's 'The Colour Identification Guide to Caterpillars of the British Isles' as a number of the 260 species are Central European specialities. It is a neat, well produced little volume which was well regarded at my local moth group annual meeting. It obviously does not cover all the moths of Central Europe, however, it is relatively cheap and will be worth acquiring for anyone interested in the larvae of the area. It covers only the families Sphingidae, Arctiidae, Notodontidae, Lasiocampidae, Lymandridae, Saturnidae and Nactuidae.
The species descriptions are bilingual, in Czech and English. They include Range, Flight Period, Larval Period, Food Plant, Habitat and Biology. The brief introduction includes a key to the identification of families/groups of European caterpillars.
This is primarily a taxonomic monograph, despite its initial appearance which makes one think of a full-blooded monograph. There is little or no ecological information included. That said, the Procridinae are not an easy group to distinguish, especially where you get several overlapping species and there is obvious merit in the production of this work.
This work details the relevant taxonomic details of, and supplies keys to the 63 currently known species of the genera Theresimima, Rhagades, Jordanita and Adscita in a region approximating to the western palaearctic; Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. The one page introduction explains the scope of the book and the second chapter, also one page, defines the Procridinae. Chapter 3 reviews some characters of the Procridinae including larval chaetotaxy, chromosome number and various other recognised morphological characteristics and a table of character combinations.
Chapter 4 is a short discussion of possible phylogenetic relationships of the 4 genera involved which are not closely related on a monophyletic grouping. This discussion is interesting, but being based on morphology and ecology may well be an estimate. Eventually a proper cladistic analysis of DNA hybridisation affinities will reveal the real situation.
Chapter 5 is a checklist and Chapter 6 is the main taxonomic body of the work including keys to genera and sub-genera and species only.
I am not a specialist on this group and have no material to test the key, but the drawings look to be neat and precise. A fair percentage of the 173 B/W illustrations are the genitalia drawing which will be the real value of this work.
The book starts with an ‘Abstract’ explaining that “A total of 151 species is recognised”. It continues by saying that “Ten new species are described” and it gives the new synonyms and various other information that is of interest with the nomenclature of these insects. This is followed by the ‘Introduction’ which goes into ‘General remarks’; ‘Collecting methods’; ‘Genitalia preparation’; ‘Notes on the illustrations’; ‘Acknowledgments’; ‘Abbreviations of Museums, Institutions and private collections’; ‘The morphology of the Gelechiidae’ and ‘Systematics and classification’.
The next five pages have the Male and Female genitalia ‘Key to the European Genera of Teleiodini and Gelechiini; followed by ten pages of ‘Check-list’ of these families.
The ‘Systematic Treatment of the Genera and Species of Teleiodini and Gelechiini in Europe’ is then discussed over the next one hundred and fifty pages; this details every one of the 151 species describing the Synonyms; Diagnosis; Male genitalia; Female genitalia; Distribution and Biology. Each of these species is numbered from 1 to 151 but there is a number 152 which describes a ‘Taxa incertae sedis’ Athrips asarinella which is “described from an unspecified number of specimens”; the ‘Original description’ is then given followed by the ‘Distribution’; ‘Biology’ and ‘Remarks’ saying that the species was recognised as belonging to the Genus Athrips in 1978, with no figures of the adult or the genitalia.
There then follows a ‘Distribution catalogue’ of nine pages which gives the ‘Acronyms of the countries’ concerned. The 151 species are then listed in chart form with the species name and the various countries where it is found.
The fourteen colour plates are then shown; these are of high quality and should make the identification of these species a lot easier; although colour pictures help in placing a specimen, some will need the aid of the genitalia pages of this book. My only minor criticism of this publication is there is no scale of size in the colour plates.
The genitalia section follows with the 151 species of the Male genitalia shown on forty eight pages with the Female genitalia on the next sixty six pages.
The last few pages from 335 to 356 are taken up with ‘References’; ‘Index to entomological species names’ and ‘Index to host plants’.
I would recommend this book to anybody who is considering studying the Microlepidoptera seriously as the concise descriptions of all the aspects of this group should make the identifications a lot easier. As a newcomer to the Microlepidoptera, I will find this book invaluable.
This is the "Dragonflies of Denmark" No. 8 in the 'Animal Life of Denmark' series. It is entirely written in Danish, which means, as I do not read any Danish that this is more of an advertisement than a review. However as the publishers were kind enough to send me a copy unsolicited I will do what I can.
I can confirm that for the most part the photos are clear and useable for purposes of identification. There are also distribution maps with each species report, though the area of the map is limited to Denmark, the tail end of Norway, Sweden and a thin slice of Northern Germany. The book includes keys but they are practically unusable for a non-Danish speaker as, though there are two illustrations with each couplet these are not numbered (e.g. 49a and 49b) as you might expect. Further more there are no discernible references within the couplets to indicate which illustration applies to which half of the couplet.
There is little more that I can say really except to affirm that previous Apollo publications have all been of a high standard so if you can read Danish then this book is probably worth buying.
The idea of someone generating and publishing a world catalogue of insects is quite awe inspiring. Even if groups that are already reasonably well catalogued are left out of the total the potential work load is enormous. Still the longest journey begins with a single step as they say. Apollo Books have taken a single step with this work and I wish them well in their endeavour.
The Hydraenidae are a little studied group of water loving beetles normally less than 8 mm long. They are a medium sized family with around 1200 species in 40 genera and because none of them are pests they have been little studied. Hopefully this work will make life easier for future researchers and thus facilitate the study of these not uninteresting beetles. Undoubtedly new species will be discovered but this volume will be the starting point for all future nomenclatural discussion.
All known names for the Hydraenidae are treated in accordance with the 3rd "International Code of Zoological Nomenclature" (ICZN 1985). All subspecific taxa are listed systematically, based on Perkin's 1997 treatment of this group. For each taxon a reference is given to the original description, for genus-group names are also given for 1)Type species, 2) reference to where and how the type species was designated and 3) gender (for valid names only). For species group names are given for 1) Type locality, 2)reference lecto- or neotype designation and 3)references to all different generic combinations. All synonyms as well as the most important misspellings and misinterpretations are listed in chronological order. Distributional data is given as one of 7 major geographical areas, normally this is followed by the names of one or more countries and sometimes by the names of major areas within a country if only one country is cited. It contains indices to subfamily and tribe, genera and subgenera, and species and subspecies as well as a 3-part appendix containing information on :Fossil species of recent genera; nomina nuda; species excluded from the Hydraenidae.
Burnett moths, being day flying, are for more frequently noticed by people than there more nocturnal cousins. This makes them an ideal group for study and recording by amateur naturalists. This publication takes us a major step forward in the work of making information available to all on this colourful and fascinating group.
The extensive introduction contains a wealth of information ranging from basic data on lifecycles and habits to more serious ecological considerations and molecular pathways involved in cyanogenesis. It also include data on the fossil record, distribution patterns, genetics and variation, nutrition, senses, reproductive ecology, predators and parasitoids, collecting techniques, captive breeding and an interesting set of cameos of early masters of Burnett biology in a section on the "History of Research on the Zygaenidae".
The main part of the work is the systematic section which details 116 species and some subspecies. It provides keys to subfamily, genera and species as well as the usual species descriptions and distribution maps. Each species receives more than a page of attention and in cases where identification is difficult genitalia illustrations are provided.
Overall the book is very well illustrated with 6 plates of set specimens depicting 318 specimens, 3 plates of photos of adults, 1 of larval forms and 2 of typical habitats. Notes on the recently discovered Jordanita fazekasi (Efton 1998), and changes to the Jordanita key to accommodate it, are given in an appendix at the end of the book. Further to this the book is well referenced and reasonably indexed, though a separate index to food plants may have been useful.
All in all, this is, from my point of view, an almost perfect modern monograph. It is well written, a comfortable size both physically and in the group it tackles and it covers a reasonably large area geographically. It contains within it all the information a person would require to carry out a reasonable survey of its subject in there local area whilst giving plenty of scope for behavioural observations.
This volume follows on from the excellent first volume in this series and maintains the high standards seen there. As in the first volume Northern Europe means Denmark, Norway, Scandinavia, Iceland, Finland and the Fennoscandian parts of Russia and the Faroes. This volume deals with the 59 species Odonata and 1890 species of Diptera, and again as with the first volume it brings together an immense amount of information that has not been available in a single source before.
The book starts with the Odonata and supplies keys to species for both larva and adults. This first chapter comprises 53 pages and includes a copious introduction to the biology of the Odonata. Though the book will undoubtedly be of greatest value within the designated area it will also have uses further south. It contains a fair proportion of the British Odonata fauna, missing only our 3 most southerly species and Sympetrum nigrescens if you accept this as a species. The keys contain much additional information and the illustrations are clear, two characteristics that are constant throughout the book despite the individual chapters being written by different authors.
The bulk of the work is taken up with the Diptera of which there are 24 aquatic families in N. Europe, these are dealt with in 22 chapters, the (Limoniidae and Pedicidae) and the (Rhagionidae and Atheridae) doubling up. this section starts with 2 introductory chapters, one to adults and the other to larva. There appears to be some confusion about the position of the Brachycera in the first but this is straightened out in the 2nd and remains stable from there in. Both these chapters contain keys to family as well as a good deal of information on morphology, classification and ecology. Every chapter from then on deals with its own group and in most cases contain keys to genera for adults and larva and sometimes also for pupae. Groups with keys to species include Chaoboridae, Ptychopteridae, Culicidae (larva only), Simulidae (pupa and larva only) and Scatophagidae (adults only).
All in all the thing that stands out most about this book is the huge amount of information it contains. It calls itself a taxonomic handbook but it is far more complete than that title suggests and will I am sure be an invaluable resource for researchers, teachers and naturalists all across Northern Europe.
We live in fascinating times for naturalists, particularly entomologists. Taxonomy of most insects in Europe is in a relatively healthy state, and over the last decade or so there has been an important shift away from publishing keys as a means of showing off to other entomologists, (claims that keys were written by experts, for other experts, were all to often true). The new and much more sensible trend is to produce keys that are user friendly to non experts, allowing interested beginners to 'join the merry throng' so to speak without becoming demented first. This is a good thing, and for those fields where it has been done well the stimulus to recording and study in that field has been immense as is perfectly exemplified by Falk and Stubbs' "British Hoverflies". This work is another excellent example of this genera of publishing and should considerably ease the study of aquatic insects in Northern Europe.
One half of a two volume set (for Volume 2 see above) this work will be of invaluable use to schools, those working in the fields of insect monitoring and conservation, and also to those involved in water quality studies in the designated area. (Denmark, Norway, Scandinavia, Iceland, Finland and the Fennoscandian parts of Russia and the Faroes). Constructed from contributions from over 30 experts this volume follows a common format throughout. For each group information is given on life cycles, habitats, trophic relationships, the current state of knowledge, morphology, methods of collecting and methods of rearing where known. The keys are mostly to genera, except for adult Trichoptera and larval Neuroptera (Families only) and Ephemeroptera, Dryopoidea and Noteridae for which there are keys to species. The book is well produced and the drawings are clear and in some cases the addition of arrows indicating the relevent aspects are of great value in maintaining ease of use.
All in all I expect this book will be much used and valued by researchers and naturalists all across Northern Europe.