State University of New York Press

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The Titles

Insect DefensesAdaptive Mechanisms and Strategies of Prey and Predator, by D.L.Evans and J.O.Schmidt (Eds)

The Reviews

Insect Defenses

Adaptive Mechanisms and Strategies of Prey and Predator, by D.L.Evans and J.O.Schmidt (Eds)

ISBN = 0 88706 896 0
ISBN = 0 7914 0616 4 (pbk.)
Price = $29.95 (hbk.)
Published = July 1990
Review written = 23/Feb/1997
482 pages
Because of their huge diversity and numbers insects represent a considerable food resource, and therefore they eaten by just about everything, but mostly by birds, spiders and other insects. Consequently the driving force behind anti-predator defence mechanisms as been consistently strong, producing a myriad of fascinating and amazing strategies. This book is a series of generally excellent chapters, written by competent collection of entomologists with fascinating chapters on spiders as insect predators, birds as insect predators, the co-evolution of bats and insects, aggregation as a predator defence system and hymenopteran venoms this book is a highly readable and scholarly account of modern thought on the subject of insect predator prey interactions. All the chapters are fully referenced and I feel this book would be a valuable addition to any public or personal library. My only negative concerns are the first 2 chapters on the evolution of aposematism and cryptic colouration, it is an unfortunate fact that some evolutionary biologists are capable of making things far more complicated than they actually are. Few of them seem to appreciate that a mutation can generate a characteristic that imparts benefits to the possessor from more than one source simultaneously and that the direction of evolutionary development is mostly a 'resultant' arising out of these multiple unidirectional forces. I don't wish to say more here just don't believe everything you read in these first 2 chapters. Otherwise this is an excellent book and I highly commend it to all entomological ecologists and naturalists.
Highly Recommended

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