Insects belong to a group known as arthropods, and they are collectively the most successful living animal group on the planet. These creatures are everywhere around us. The group includes many easily recognizable families such as beetles, flies, wasps, stick insects, dragonflies and ants, as well as many lesser-known species and microscopic creatures that are not visible to the naked eye.
This beautifully illustrated guide provides a fascinating overview of the world of arthropods. Beginning with the evolution of the insect family, the introduction looks at every aspect of insect life, including basic anatomy, life cycles, and social organization within colonies and nests. How insects jump, leap and fly, and the methods by which they defend themselves and their colonies from attack, are discussed. An in-depth look at each of the orders that make up the insect group, with examples of the commonest species, completes the first section of the book.
An encyclopedia of arthropod species follows. It is organized according to geographical region and then by taxonomic order. Every insect type is included, from the tiniest wingless creature to the largest and most spectacular beetle. Many are illustrated with beautifully detailed watercolours. Each entry gives a profile outlining the physical traits and characteristics of each insect. Identification details are provided, such as body colour, shape and size, with a description of the habitat where each can be found. Differences between males and females are noted, as well as changes in appearance at each life stage.
More than 750 stunning photographs, finely detailed watercolours and expert text make this a spectacularly visual reference guide that will be enjoyed by all natural history enthusiasts.
About the Author
Martin Walters is a writer, editor and naturalist. He studied Zoology at Oxford, and worked for several years as Biological Sciences Editor at Cambridge University Press where he was responsible for developing the botany, ecology and natural history lists, before becoming a freelance editor and writer. He is a keen field naturalist, with a special interest in botany, birds, habitats and conservation.