CSIRO Publishing

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The Titles


Grasshopper Country, by David Rentz
Australian Cicadas, by M.S. Moulds
Common dung beetles, by Marina Tyndale-Biscoe
Wood-destroying Insects, by J. W. Creffield
The Fly in your Eye, by Jim heath and Janet Baxter
Termites of the Top End, by Alan Anderson and Peter Jacklyn
Butterflies of Australia, 2nd Edition by I.F.B. Common and D.F. Waterhouse
Carcasson's African Butterflies , by P.R. Ackery, C.R.Smith and R.I. Vane-Wright (Eds)
Oecophorine Genera of Australia 1, by Ian F. B. Common
Oecophorine Genera of Australia 11, by Ian F. B. Common
Click Beetles Genera of the Australian Elateridae by Andrew A. Calder
Frontiers of Population Ecology by R. B. Floyd, A. W. Sheppard and P. J. De Barro (EDs)

The Reviews

Australian Cicadas

by M.S. Moulds

ISBN = 0 86480 1390
Price = $39.95Au.
Published = 1990
Review written = 25th/October/1997
217 A4 Pages
24 colour plates

Though David Rentz has popularised the idea of Australia as "Grasshopper Country" I personally remember it more as "Cicada Country". Cicadas were a fascinating aspect of my childhood, and probably contributed considerably to my current fascination with all things entomological. I spent hours watching them climb laboriously up from the soil and then emerging. Turning from rather drab ugly looking workmen into beautiful fairy Princes and Princesses. Every year I made a collection of all the different exuviae I could find, but that was as far as my studies ever reached, I wish this book had been available then. I am glad that it is available now, helping me understand more fully what I observed in those earlier years and bringing back memories of hot summer days and the sometimes almost deafening chorus of the Cicadas. I know many other people have been, and still are as fascinated by these amazing animals as I was. This beautiful book with its text descriptions, distribution maps and 24 colour plates depicting nearly all the Australian species will I am sure be extremely popular.

Contains sections on:- Common vernacular names, Life history, Predators, parasites and pathogens, Distribution and habitat, Adult structure and function, Sound production and reception, Principles of classification and nomenclature, Classification of Cicadas, Collection and preservation, The family Tettigarctidae, Family Cicadidae, Glossary, References.

All in all a very functional and thoroughly delightful book.
Highly Recommended

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Wood-destroying Insects

Wood Borers and Termites, by J. W. Creffield

ISBN = 0 643 05151 1
Price = $29.95Au.
Published = 1996
Review written = 25th/October/1997
44 Pages A4
32 colour plates

Wood feeding insects are a major concern of the forestry and building industries all across the world. Fortunately for the UK we do not have many really destructive wood users, however for many countries termites are an ever present threat to all wooden structures and wood boring beetles are often a common occurrence. Australia is no no exception to this rule with over 300 species of termites and many wood boring beetles.

This booklet will be of value to all those concerned with timber and timber constructions in Australia: Architects, Engineers, Builders, Surveyors, Foresters Pest control companies and of course house owners and buyers. In simple straight forward language it details the major wood boring insects, (mostly beetles) and termites that are likely to be of concern in Australia. Giving in each case life histories, type of damage and appropriate action.

Contains sections on:- Wood borers; General biology and diagnostic features of damage, Borers attacking standing trees, Borers attacking seasoned timber, Borers attacking decaying wood, Methods of control, -----Termites; Occurrence and distribution, Ants and termites - identification, Termite classification, Some termite species of economic significance, Termite biology, Prevention of termite attack, Eradication of termite attack, Alternative insecticides and techniques for the future, Further reading.

A very useful little booklet.
Highly Recommended

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Common dung beetles

in pasture of south-eastern Australia, by Marina Tyndale-Biscoe

ISBN = 0 643 050906
Price = $20.00Au.
Published = 1990
Review written = 25th/October/1997
71 Pages ~A4 Plus a 16 page pull-out set of distribution maps for South Australia
98 colour plates on 24 pages

In the late 1700s Europeans started settling in Australia, they brought with them a number of animal species including domestic cattle. Cattle produce rather large lumps of relatively wet dung in comparison to the local Australian herbivore fauna. The Australian dung beetle fauna were, generally speaking, not all that interested in cow dung. Therefore cow dung accumulated in paddocks breeding flies and fouling pasteur. In the 1950s scientists started looking into the feasibility of introducing dung beetles into australia to solve this problem. Subsequently between 1968 and 1980 45 species of dung beetle from Northern Africa and Southern Europe were introduced, about 20 to 25 five are doing reasonably well and 17of these occur in the S.E. of Australia.

This book was designed to allow farmers and other interested parties to be able to identify the dung beetles both native and introduced occurring in South-Eastern Australia. It should succeed in this aim. Each of the 17 species occurring in SE Australia is detailed with a text description including identification tips, origin and ecology. In each case 4-5 colour photos showing the beetle in dorsal, ventral and lateral aspect accompany the description. Towards the end of the book are a series of distribution maps for NSW, Victoria and Tasmania showing actual and potential distributions at the end of the last decade.

All in all this is a lovely little production and deserves to sell well.
Highly Recommended

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The Oecophorine Genera of Australia

Part 1 (The Wingia Group) and Part 11 (The Chezala, Philobota and Eulecharia Groups) by Jim heath and Janet Baxter
Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera Volumes 3 and 5.

ISBN = Part 1 0 643 05524 X and Part 11 0 643 05934 2
Price = Part 1 $100.00Au. and Part 11 $130.00Au.
Published = Part 1 1994 and Part 11 1997
Review written = 25th/October/1997
~400 Pages ~A4

These two books by the same author are part of a 3 part revision of the Oecophorine genera of Australia. Part 1 (M.A.L. 3) deals with the Wingia group. Part 11 deals with Chezala, Philobota and Eulecharia groups. Part 111 will deal with the Borea group as well as the few remaining unassociated genera.
It may come as a surprise to someone living in Britain or even the rest of the Western Palaearctic to know that 3 volumes of approximately 400 ~A4 pages are needed just to describe the Oecophorine genera of Australia but it is so. The Oecophorinae of Australia comprise some 5000+, mostly endemic and eucalypt feeding species, about half of which have been named, equaling 20% of the total moth fauna of Australia.

The books are obviously part of a single major work, and though they stand fully in their own rite the introduction to the subfamily is much more extensive in the first volume. In both volumes the introductory chapters deal with Phylogeny, including preliminary cladograms, Morphology, Biology, Diversity and Distribution. The bulk of the work is the generic descriptions, and each group dealt with begins with a key to genera. The generic descriptions are clear and well illustrated containing all the necessary information on location of types etc. At the end of each generic description is a list of constituent species.

The books give an impression of clarity and usability that adds considerably to their value. The Monographs on the Australian Lepidoptera in general and this series in particular represent a backbone of solid taxonomic information which will be easy for future workers to build on.
Recommended

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The Fly in your Eye

by Jim heath and Janet Baxter

ISBN =
Price = $??Au.
Published = 1989
Review written = 9th/October/1997
20 Pages A4

This is a delightful little book, as amusing as it is informative. Flies, aka Bush flies are an annoying aspect of Australian fauna that I remember well, second only to Mozzies which get you after dark or inside cool buildings such as school rooms. Flies have played an important role in the image Australia has exported of itself to the rest of the world, hence though in 18 years of living there I never saw anyone wear a hat with corks dangling from it, that is how many people represent Aus. The problems are apparently not as bad now as they were when I lived there in the 60's and 70;s due to the inspiring work of a couple of dozen species of dung beetle. However I suspect they are still a pesky nuisance and hence this book will be of interest to many Australian citizens as well as to the thousands of tourists that visit the country every year.

This book will tell you all you ever wanted to know about bush flies and more, from the earliest records of the flies as being a nuisance to their life cycles and occurrence statistics in the major Australian population centres. Janet Baxter's drawings have a wonderful charm about them and add greatly to the fun of this book.
Includes section on:- Why do they pester you, Where do they come from, When to expect them, Life cycles and sex life, Habits and flight performance, What do they eat, Do they have natural enemies, Where do they sleep, Dung beetles vs Bush flies, where dung beetles have been released and what they will do, The CSIRO beetle-strategy in western Australia, Other kinds of flies.
Highly Recommended

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Termites of the Top End

by Alan Anderson and Peter Jacklyn

ISBN = 0 643 05430 8
Price = $15.00Au.
Published = 1993
Review written = 9th/October/1997
31 Pages A5+
38 Colour Photos

Termite mounds are a distinctive feature of a number of dry tropical habitats and those of the Top End of Northern Australia are particularly spectacular. Though termites are seen as only pests by many people they play a crucial role in balance of ecosystems in this and other similar parts of the world. More than 100 species of termites inhabit the Top End, but little is known about many of them. This book discusses termite societies and their role in the ecosystem, and outlines some of the Aboriginal uses of termites. It also outlines in greater detail the six species of termites most likely to be encountered and recognised by visitors to this part of the world. Two of these species are species which hold an amazing fascination for most of us, the 'Magnetic Termites', so named because of the consistent orientation of their mounds, and the 'Cathedral Termites' named for the shear size and majesty of their mounds. Termites are fascinating group of insects and this little book is great place to start learning about them. Termites of the Top End is an attractively illustrated, popular account for anyone interested in these fascinating insects. It will I am sure be useful to, and informative for the many thousands of people, particularly students, amateur naturalists and tourists who visit the top end of Australia every year.

Includes section on:- The termite society, Termites in ecosystems, Aboriginal uses of termites, The Top End fauna, Magnetic termites, Harvester termites, Cathedral termites, Flood plain termites, Tree-piping termites, Giant Northern termites, Further reading.
Highly Recommended

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Grasshopper Country

by David Rentz

ISBN =0 86840 0637
Price = $79.95 Au.
Published = 1996
Review written = 1st/October/1997
283 Pages ~A4
425 Colour Plates

Grasshopper country is Australia, and like everything else entomological Australia does it in a big way and as David himself says on the CD ROM the sounds of Grasshoppers and Katydids are a familiar sound in Australia. The number of species is staggering to an Englishman, 2734 species or 10% of the worlds total species count, of Grasshoppers and Crickets is a wonderful thought . If this was not enough for one volume, this book also deals with the other main Orthopteroid groups Blattodea, Mantodea and Phasmatodea. I have a number of lovely books published by the CSIRO on my shelves but this instantly became my favourite. The book is obviously a work of love and will appeal to a wide audience, outside of as well as inside of Australia.

This work is really 3 volumes packed into one. firstly there is the 40 page introduction to the orthopteroid group which will greatly enhance this books accessibility and value to both amateur naturalists and students. Then you have an 80 page coffee table extravaganza of colour. The book is worth buying just for these wonderful photos which will delight young and old alike. Thirdly there is the 220 page main body of the work which includes keys to families, subfamilies and tribes along with a synopsis of each of the groups covered. for those misers who still doubt that they are getting their monies-worth the CSIRO have included a CD ROM of 100 chart toppers in the Australian orthopteroid world, which they have cunningly hidden behind the dust jacket on the inside of the back cover of the book.

This is a beautiful book anyway you look at it and I am sure it will not only sell well but will in the process stimulate a resurgence of research into the wonderful panoply of mostly endemic species represented by Australia's Orthopteroid Insects. Includes chapters on:Basic Characteristics of Orthopteroid Insects, Collecting Orthopteroid Insects, Rearing Orthopteroids, Killing and Preserving Orthopteroids, Superfamily Gryllacridoidea, Superfamily Tettigonioidea I, Superfamily Tettigonioidea II, Superfamily Tettigonioidea III, Superfamily Grylloidea I, Superfamily Grylloidea II, Superfamilies Eumastacoidea and Acridoidea, Family Acrididae, Superfamilies Tetrigoidea and Trydactyloidea, Order Blattodea, Order Mantodea, and Order Phasmatodea
Highly Recommended

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Carcasson's African Butterflies

An annotated catalogue of the Papilionoidea and Hesperioidae of the Afrotropical region, by P.R. Ackery, C.R.Smith and R.I. Vane-Wright (Eds)

ISBN = 0 643 05561 4
Price = $140.00 (Aus.)
Published = 1995
Review written = 10/June/1997
803 A4 pages

This massive publication is the culmination of more than 20 years worth of work and collaboration by international butterfly experts. Covering 3 593 recognised species from more than 300 genera (including all genus-group, species-group and infra-subspecific names involving a total of about 1 400 names) it is the first work of its kind i.e. one devoted to an entire tropical region. It is in fact a checklist of 20% of the worlds butterfly fauna with short notes on distribution and in some cases food plants, illustrated by 319 b/w photographs. A comprehensive index, and a 67 page bibliography help to make this a valuable work to anyone working on butterflies of the Afrotropical region. This is undoubtedly a very major contribution to the butterfly literature of the world and will be of great use to all butterfly researchers.

Recommended.

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Butterflies of Australia

2nd Edition by I.F.B. Common and D.F. Waterhouse

ISBN = 0 643 05738 2
Price = $69.95 (Aus.)
Published = 1981
Review written = 9/June/1997
682 pages

Butterflies are by far the most popular and well known group of insects and have a history of being represented by high quality identification guides. This well known and excellent guide to the butterflies of Australia is certainly no exception, in fact it is one of the best I have ever seen and sets an example that could well be followed by other other Australian fauna guides, both those relating to insects in general (all of those I have seen so far have been rather inadequate) and to the other groups of commonly observed insects.

This reprint of the classic 1981 work, which was itself and upgrading of a previous 1972 work, by the same authors is a timely addition to the ever growing list of high quality entomological literature coming out of Australia. The work contains 28 colour and 21 B/W plates which feature 98% of the Butterfly fauna of Australia, those not featured require genital dissection for identification. Though the plates are pretty good, (the colours look a touch underdone to me, especially in the Danaids) the real richness of this work is the text. Every species gets on average more than a whole page of text devoted to it which includes a distribution description accompanied by a small map. Further to this there is a comprehensive description of the adult morphology and a section on life history which contains one or more descriptions of the larvae, its food plants and notes on ecology for both adults and larvae as well as some additional notes on past observations.

The Book is prefaced by an 82 page introduction to Butterflies drawing on Australian examples which includes sections on: Some early history, Structure and Life history, Biology, Behaviour and Physiology, Geographical distribution and Distribution and Nomenclature. It also includes a section after the species descriptions on Collection and Study, a Glossary, List of Food Plants, a 10 page selected bibliography and indices to both common and scientific names. Personally I would prefer to see the plates all in one place at the end of the book and not scattered throughout the text as they are here, so that finding the plate you want is easier, however this is I suspect only a personal quirk and not a serious fault of the book.

All in all this is an excellent work, there should be a copy in every school library in Australia at least.

Highly Recommended.

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Posters


Size = 33cm by 29 cm
Price =$9.95 Au.
Australian Moths and Butterflies ISBN= 0 643 04942 8
Australian Beetles ISBN= 0 643 04897 9
Insects of Cape York Peninsula
I received these three posters from the CSIRO at the same time so am reviewing them together. They all come with a highly glossy finish and would look could anywhere inside or outside of Australia. Australian Moths and Butterflies and Australian Beetles are both in landscape presentation and Insects of Cape York Peninsula is in portrait format. All three make a colour full addition to any wall particularly if you have been to Aus. but do not live there now. Of course I have posters of British insects all over my walls and I expect many a child in Australia would enjoy having these on there bedroom wall.

Of the three Australian Moths and Butterflies and Australian Beetles are of a similar design, consisting of high quality photographs set out roughly in 3 or 4 rows across the poster, 12 beetles and 16 butterflies and moths. Of the 2 I prefer the 'Moths and Butterflies' , not only because you get more images but also because three of the beetles are very similar in appearance, a selection that can not have been made from lack of choice considering the bewildering diversity of beetles, and for which i have no explanation.

The 3rd poster is of a more creative design, it is dominated by a large photo of a termite nest mound which occupies over 30% of the poster. around this are a range of 7 smaller photos depicting a good range of other insects from the peninsula.
All told any of these would make a welcome contrast on your wall to the normally poorly produced and slightly torn images of rapidly fading, if not already forgotten, pop stars.

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Click Beetles

Genera of the Australian Elateridae by Andrew A. Calder

ISBN = 0 643 05671 8
Price = $130.00 (Aus. and US)
Published = 1996
Review written = 4th/Jan/1998
401 pages

This is the 2nd in the series ' Monographs on Invertebrate Taxonomy ' , it is a major new work on the Elaterids (Click Beetles) of Australia and will be an important addition to the literature of anyone studying elaterids. The author set out to "..., to study and describe in full all previously described Australian click beetle genera and describe any new genera; secondly to assign all described species to existing or new genera, the limits of which are defined and thirdly to provide a key to all decibel genera.". This then sets the ground for what this book is about and it appears that for the most part the author has succeeded in his aims. This work is not designed to allow the novice entomologist a doorway into the world of Australian elaterids, and anyone not already familiar with the morphology of elaterids is likely to find the key hard going because some of the characters used are not defined or are defined inaccurately. There are also occasions where the key is unillustrated or where the illustration indicated are not the relevent ones i.e. couplets 16, 19, 20, 21 and 22 at least. I am not really an elaterid taxonomist though I collect the British species, and this work is really beyond the scope of most of the readers who visit this page. Therefore I recommend anyone wanting a more detailed discussion of the taxonomic errors and peculiarities of this work to C. von Hayek's generally positive review in Systematic Entomology Vol 22 Number 3 July 1997 pp285-286.

Each genus is described and illustrated by a fine habitus drawing and the rest of the work is copiously illustrated with B/W line drawings and SEM micrographs. Includes the following sections: Family definition; Historical review; Higher classification; Materials; Dissecting techniques and illustrations; Measurements; Taxonomic procedure; Morphology; Key to Genera of Australian Elateridae, Systematic section; Unplaced and excluded species of Australian Elateridae

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Frontiers of Population Ecology

by R. B. Floyd, A. W. Sheppard and P. J. De Barro (EDs)

ISBN = 0 643 05781 1
Price = $110.00 (Aus.or USA)
Published = 1996
Review written = 1st/Jan/1998
652 pages John Nicholson is often regarded as the farther of density dependance, the investigation of which has been the mainstay of population ecology for the last 40 years at least. It is still not possible to get a group of population ecologists together without some discussion as to the importance of density dependance as a regulatory factor. This book is based on a meeting held in Canberra Australia in 1995 to celebrate Nicholson's contribution to the field of population ecology 100 years after his birth. The 1st two chapters of this book are dedicated to his life.

The remainder of the book is a collection of 42 review style papers of a on variety aspects of population ecology. There is a good mix of internationality in the authors and in most sections the globe is well represented, the exception is the section on Managing Populations which contains only examples from Australia, 5 on introduced species and 2 on marine mammals, this is not to denigrate the quality of these papers just the lack of examples from the rest of the world. The book is mostly concerned with 'pure' rather than 'applied' aspects of population ecology and this should be taken into account when considering it as a text for university courses. This is not a book for those with a casual interest, or for those looking for help with preparing a course on this topic. It is a book written by researchers for researchers, and though it will deserve a place in the library of most institutes which have courses on any aspect of population ecology it is not designed as a course text and will not function as one, though it will supply interesting additional reading for the brighter students. The book is be divided into 6 sections: An introduction to the life and work of John Nicholson (2 chapters); Population regulation in theory and practice (13 chapters); Two-species interactions (10 chapters); Spatial processes in population dynamics (6 chapters); Population evolution and molecular ecology (5 chapters); and Managing populations (8 chapters).

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