Preface

Insects are a fascinating group, because of the huge biodiversity they present, and of their numerous remarkable adaptations to different habitats and life patterns. Of the various facets of insect life, some are discussed in Entomology classes and find place in text-books. But several aspects remain relatively ignored. This book touches some such aspects as are less talked about, and I hope that it will be a fruitful additional reading for entomology students, as is Norman's "History of Fishes" for Ichthyology learners. At the same time, several chapters in the book are of popular interest, and will help dissemination of information about insects.

Both the authors of this book are well established entomologists. Prof. P. Jolivet's contribution has been voluminous and very significant. His areas of special interest include biology of Timarcha, food plants of chry-somelids and ants-plants relationship. In view of his contributions, the Fifth International Symposium on Chrysomelidae in the year 2000 in Brazil was named after him. Prof. Jolivet has very widely traveled, covering almost all parts of the world, not for just seeing places, but for entomological experiences. Some of his experiences find place in this book, for example the sight of mass emergence of the 17 year cicada after 17 years of life underground in May 2004 in USA, morning dark clouds of chironomid midges rising from the Lake Edward and the neighbouring lakes in Africa badly polluted with hippopotamus dung, and 200 metres long procession of army ants entering his tent in a Congo forest, and nothing would check the progress of the ant army.

Prof. K. K. Verma has taught Zoology and Entomology, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in government colleges in India for more than 35 years. He has been an active entomology worker throughout, and is known for his contributions on genitalia, digestion and polymorphism in phytophagous beetles. He has published numerous papers both in national and international journals. He has been my student, and I have always appreciated his clear perception in the subject. I am happy to see that, even after his retirement in 1991, he is still academically active and is continuing to publish research papers and reviews.

Naturalists have always wondered at the adaptive capacity of insects. Some adaptive remarkable mysteries of insects have been unlocked in chapters of this book, which brings out the uniqueness of insects in the animal world.

Retired Professor and Head of Zoology Department,

Sagar University, Sagar, India.

0 0

Post a comment