Blackwell Science




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Exotic Insects in Australia, by T. R. New

The Reviews

Exotic Insects in Australia

by T.R. New

ISBN = 1 87 5553 03 7
Price = £18.50
Published = 1994
Review written = 18/Feb/1997
The introduction to, and existence in, a country of non endemic animals, particularly insects, is an extremely relevant topic in the world today. This small book serves as an excellent introduction to some of the problems and thoughts related to what is a very complicated subject. Primarily concerned with the problems from an Australian point of view this is an accurate and up to date work which is well worth reading. Australia because of its size and great environmental breadth is like the Americas highly susceptible to invasions of invertebrates from foreign countries, and though many of these fail to colonize many become pests. Perfect of examples of this are European wasps Vespa vulgaris and V. germanica which have completely offered their life history strategies in the Australia (and New Zealand) becoming far more of nuisance than ever they are in there natural habitat. Australia because of this and because it has been the home of a number of classic examples of the introduction of a pest and then its control by biological means (i.e the cactus Opuntia spp. and the moth Cactoblastis cactorum) is an excellent scene from which to examine the whole problem of exotic life forms, both beneficial and detrimental. Australia has been the scene of much hot debate over such animals as the Honey Bee, which is a great commercial success, but which obviously interferes with the ecology of other native bees and also is now partly dependant on introduced 'pest status' plants for nectar. This book is not a checklist of all the exotics in Australia, but an intelligent and interesting discussion of the fundamental problems that arise when modern man invades a habitat that has evolved without him, bringing with him all the comforts and 'benefits' of the environment he left behind. This book will be of interest to all concerned individuals around the world and of considerable use to students where ever English is read. 138 pages including 14 of references.
Highly Recommended

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