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Dimensions:
190 × 135 × 14 mm
208 pages
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9781789141610
Illustrations:
114 illustrations, 78 in colour
Published:
14 Oct 2019
Series:
Animal

Wasp Richard Jones

Fear and fascination set wasps apart from other insects. Despite their iconic form and distinctive colours, they are surrounded by myth and misunderstanding. Often portrayed in cartoon-like stereotypes bordering on sad parody, wasps have an unwelcome and undeserved reputation for aggressiveness bordering on vindictive spite. This mistrust is deep-seated in a human history that has awarded commercial and spiritual value to other insects, such as bees, but has failed to recognize any worth in wasps.

Leading entomologist Richard Jones redresses the balance in this enlightening and entertaining guide to the natural and cultural history of these powerful carnivores. Jones delves into their complex nesting and colony behaviour, their unique caste system and their major role at the centre of many food webs. Drawing on up-to-date scientific concepts and featuring many striking colour illustrations, Jones successfully shows exactly why wasps are worthy of greater understanding and appreciation.

‘I was very glad to find a readable, scholarly and interesting book about Wasps. Beekeepers tend to have a negative view of these close bee-relatives, but recently I have begun to realize how very unfair this view may be . . . beautifully illustrated throughout . . . Richard Jones has a rare gift in being able to impart his knowledge to the reader in such a refreshing way.’ — The Irish Beekeeper

‘Leading entomologist Richard Jones redresses the balance in this enlightening and entertaining guide to the natural and cultural history of these powerful carnivores. He delves into their complex nesting and colony behaviour, their unique caste system and their major role at the centre of many food webs. Drawing on up-to-date scientific concepts he successfully shows exactly why wasps are worthy of greater understanding and appreciation.’ — Pest Magazine

‘This is a well-researched and enthusiastically written addition to the Reaktion series on Animals. The format is highly distinctive, with a mixture of natural history, science, art and folklore.’ — British Journal of Entomology and Natural History

‘In Wasp Jones provides an entertaining look at the fascination and fear that surrounds wasps . . . The book investigates the biology and ecology of wasps, their representation in human culture and attempts to answer the question "what is the point of wasps?" . . . Jones provides good evidence and a well-structured argument as to why the persecution of these wasps must cease. This book is an important contribution to our re-education: we need a better understanding of vespid hymenopterans and their functional value within healthy ecosystems. And it also reawakens the ethical questions surrounding humanity’s right to persecute other species’ — Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine


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Richard Jones is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London and the Linnean Society of London, and was President of the British Entomological and Natural History Society 2001-02. He has published a number of books on insects and wildlife including Nano Nature (2009) and Extreme Insects (2010).

Introduction

1 A Sting in the Tale
2 Warning Colours
3 It's in their Genes
4 Paper Architecture
5 Bad Public Relations
6 Tabloid Mayhem
7 What is the Point of Wasps?
8 Past Perceptions and Future Prospects

Timeline
References
Select Biography
Association and Websites
Acknowledgements
Photo Ackowledgements
Index