Preface and acknowledgements for first edition

preparation and by helping with labelling of figures. Eva Bugledich acted as a library courier and brewed hundreds of cups of coffee.

The following people generously reviewed one or more chapters for us: Andy Austin, Tom Bellas, Keith Binnington, Ian Clark, Geoff Clarke, Paul Cooper, Kendi Davies, Don Edward, Penny Greenslade, Terry Hillman, Dave McCorquodale, Rod Mahon, Dick Norris, Chris Reid, Steve Shattuck, John Trueman and Phil Weinstein. We also enjoyed many discussions on hymenopteran phylogeny and biology with Andy. Tom sorted out our chemistry and Keith gave expert advice on insect cuticle. Paul's broad knowledge of insect physiology was absolutely invaluable. Penny put us straight with springtail facts. Chris' entomological knowledge, especially on beetles, was a constant source of information. Steve patiently answered our endless questions on ants. Numerous other people read and commented on sections of chapters or provided advice or helpful discussion on particular entomological topics. These people included John Balderson, Mary Carver, Lyn Cook, Jane Elek, Adrian Gibbs, Ken Hill, John Lawrence, Chris Lyal, Patrice Morrow, Dave Rentz, Eric Rumbo, Vivienne Turner, John Vranjic and Tony Watson. Mike Crisp assisted with checking on current host-plant names. Sandra McDougall inspired part of Chapter 15. Thank you everyone for your many comments which we have endeavoured to incorporate as far as possible, for your criticisms which we hope we have answered, and for your encouragement.

We benefited from discussions concerning published and unpublished views on insect phylogeny (and fossils), particularly with Jim Carpenter, Mary Carver, Niels Kristensen, Jarmila Kukalova-Peck and John Trueman. Our views are summarized in the phylogenies shown in this book and do not necessarily reflect a consensus of our discussants' views (this was unattainable).

Our writing was assisted by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) providing somewhere for both of us to work during the many weekdays, nights and weekends during which this book was prepared. In particular, Penny managed to escape from the distractions of her university position by working in CSIRO. Eventually, however, everyone discovered her whereabouts. The Division of Entomology of the CSIRO provided generous support: Carl Davies gave us driving lessons on the machine that produced reductions of the figures, and Sandy Smith advised us on labelling. The Division of Botany and Zoology of the Australian National University also provided assistance in aspects of the book production: Aimorn Stewart prepared the SEMs from which Fig. 4.7 was drawn, and Judy Robson typed the labels for some of the figures.

Chapter 1


Charles Darwin inspecting beetles collected during the voyage of the Beagle. (After various sources, especially Huxley & Kettlewell 1965 and Futuyma 1986.)

Curiosity alone concerning the identities and lifestyles of the fellow inhabitants of our planet justifies the study of insects. Some of us have used insects as totems and symbols in spiritual life, and we portray them in art and music. If we consider economic factors, the effects of insects are enormous. Few human societies lack honey, provided by bees (or specialized ants). Insects pollinate our crops. Many insects share our houses, agriculture, and food stores. Others live on us, on our domestic pets or our livestock, and yet more visit to feed on us where they may transmit disease. Clearly, we should understand these pervasive animals.

Although there are millions of kinds of insects, we do not know exactly (or even approximately) how many. This ignorance of how many organisms we share our planet with is remarkable considering that astronomers have listed, mapped, and uniquely identified a comparable diversity of galactic objects. Some estimates, which we discuss in detail below, imply that the species richness of insects is so great that, to a near approximation, all organisms can be considered to be insects. Although dominant on land and in fresh water, few insects are found beyond the tidal limit of oceans.

In this opening chapter, we outline the significance of insects and discuss their diversity and classification and their roles in our economic and wider lives. First, we outline the field of entomology and the role of entomologists, and then introduce the ecological functions of insects. Next, we explore insect diversity, and then discuss how we name and classify this immense diversity. Sections follow in which we consider some cultural and economic aspects of insects, their aesthetic and tourism appeal, their importance as foods for humans and animals, and how and why they may be reared. We conclude with a review of the conservation of insects, with examples, including text boxes on the conservation of the large blue butterfly in England, the effects of tramp ants on biodiversity, and the issue of sustainable human use of mopane "worms": the caterpillars of African emperor moths.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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