Solitary Wasps: Behavior and Natural History by Kevin O'Neill, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Solitary Wasps: Behavior and Natural History

Solitary Wasps: Behavior and Natural History

by Kevin O'Neill
     
 
While social wasps, like hornets and yellow jackets, garner most of the publicity (most of it negative), the vast majority of wasp species, including digger wasps, spider wasps, and mud-daubers, are solitary. Elegant in appearance and distinctive in their actions, solitary wasps have long fascinated observers and have been the subject of narratives by such naturalists

Overview

While social wasps, like hornets and yellow jackets, garner most of the publicity (most of it negative), the vast majority of wasp species, including digger wasps, spider wasps, and mud-daubers, are solitary. Elegant in appearance and distinctive in their actions, solitary wasps have long fascinated observers and have been the subject of narratives by such naturalists and scientists as Jean Henri Fabre, Niko Tinbergen, and Howard Ensign Evans. Each adult female solitary wasp forages alone and, if she builds a nest, it is occupied solely by herself and her own offspring. Females use their stings mainly for hunting, rather than for defense, and exhibit a wide range of foraging and parental behaviors. Solitary wasps are of special interest to ethologists and evolutionary biologists. Kevin M. O'Neill provides readable yet thorough accounts of the natural history of the major families of solitary wasps and also surveys the current state of scientific research on these insects. Numerous comprehensive tables of quantitative data serve as an excellent reference for biologists. Topics covered in Solitary Wasps: Behavior and Natural History include:
• classification of the solitary wasps and their relation to other Hymenoptera*foraging and nesting behaviors* mating and parental strategies*thermoregulation*natural enemies*defensive strategies*directions for future researchSolitary Wasps: Behavior and Natural History is the first general survey in more than 25 years to be dedicated to its subject and is the best place to turn for information about the biology and compelling behavior of these common insects.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The subject of Kevin O'Neill's excellent account are solitary wasps. . . Many of the topics discussed are illustrated by weird and wonderful case studies. . . Altogether, this is a well-written summary of what is known (and also what is not known) about a heterogeneous group of wasps that has intrigued biologists for many decades."—J.L. Cloudsley Thompson, Times Literary Supplement, 8/2/01

"The book is the first general survey of the subject in more than 25 years. . . Excellent book, well organized, well written, readable, informative."—Choice, June 2001, Vol. 38, No. 10

"Kevin O'Neill's book provides an ideal insight into the intricacies of wasp behaviour, whether for a beginner seeking a project or for an expert look for solid comparative analysis. For the beginner it instills all the necessary enthusiasm and explains very clearly why solitary wasps are so easy and so rewarding to study. For professionals it is beautifully laid out to cover the diversity of foraging and nesting strategies across all the groups that are included. . . . There is plenty of food for thought here, and plenty to spur on new investigations. . . . Add this book to your shelves and enjoy the world of the solitary wasps."—Pat Willmer, Entomologist's Monthly Magazine

"This is a well-written summary of what we know—and don't know—about the kinds of wasps that have fascinated naturalists as well known as Henri Fabre and as little-known as my next-door neighbor, whose questions about ground-nesting wasps I could answer after reading this book. It will answer your questions, too."—Sue Hubbell

Booknews
O'Neill (entomology, Montana State U.-Bozeman) begins with a cursory overview of the classification of the Hymenoptera. He then reviews the foraging strategies of solitary aculeates and addresses the nests of female solitary wasps, the natural enemies of solitary wasps, mating strategies, thermoregulation and sleeping, and the evolution of parental strategies. Appendices include lists of the superfamilies, families, and subfamilies of solitary aculeate Hymenoptera, as well as the family affiliations of all genera discussed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801437212
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2001
Series:
Cornell Series in Arthropod Biology Series
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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