The Hot-Blooded Insects: Strategies and Mechanisms of Thermoregulation / Edition 1

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Overview

Bernd Heinrich's widely praised Bumblebee Economics (Harvard, 1979) set a high standard for scientifically accurate yet gracefully articulate writing about nature's ingenious patterns, specifically thermoregulation. His Hot-Blooded Insects takes a giant step forward by presenting an overview of what is now known about thermoregulation in all of the major insect groups, offering new insights on physiology, ecology, and evolution. The book is richly illustrated by the author's exquisite sketches. By describing the environmental opportunities and challenges faced by moths and butterflies, grasshoppers and locusts, dungball rollers and other beetles, a wide range of bees, and other insects, Heinrich explains their dazzling variety of physiological and behavioral adaptations to what, for them, is a world of violent extremes in temperature. These mechanisms are apparent only through precise observations, but the small body size of insects poses large technical difficulties in whole-animal experiments, engendering controversy about the reliability of the data thus derived. Emphasizing an experimental approach, Heinrich pinpoints where he believes studies have gone astray, describing in detail both groundbreaking experiments and those which leave a reasonable doubt" about the mechanism being interpreted. He reviews relevant work on the major taxa to show the underlying patterns that draw diversity together, opines on current controversies, and identifies questions that call for further study. Physiologists, ecologists, entomologists, and zoologists - in fact, all biologists - will be stimulated and challenged to further research by this masterly synthesis of a new field; it will also appeal to informed readers interested in general science.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Heinrich, a zoology professor and author of Bumblebee Economics (Harvard, 1979), In a Patch of Fireweed ( LJ 4/15/84), and One Man's Owl ( LJ 11/1/87), is gifted with the ability to convey complex ideas to professionals and informed lay readers alike, in a style intelligible and stimulating to both. His most recent offering skillfully blends his own broad observations and experimentations with the literature on insect thermoregulation, an often-neglected yet critical factor that affects all aspects of insect life. The 16 chapters apply basic principles of thermoregulation to such phenomena as how bumblebees function on cold mornings, how cicadas use plant juices for evaporative cooling, and how animals use fever to combat infectious agents. Each chapter ends with a summary and a list of remaining problems and is illustrated by graphs, photographs, and line drawings. For academic and larger public libraries.-- Annette Aiello, Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst., Panama
Booknews
Heinrich, author of Bumblebee Ecology (Harvard, 1979) presents an overview of what is now known about thermoregulation in all of the major insect groups, illustrated by his own detailed sketches. By describing the environmental opportunities and challenges faced by moths and butterflies, grasshoppers and locusts, dungball rollers and other beetles, a wide range of bees, and other insects, Heinrich explains their remarkable variety of physiological and behavioral adaptations to what, for them, is a world of violent extremes of temperature. A must for biologists, but also accessible to informed readers interested in general science. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"From one man's persistent and elegant probing of the temperature biology of bees, we have been led to a deeper understanding of the whole biology of many insect taxa, and of their interactions with ecological and environmental stresses: all who work at the interfaces of physiology, ecology and behaviour have cause to be grateful, and all should certainly read this book." (Trends in Ecology & Evolution) "An outstanding source of information, and can be read with profit and satisfaction by the professional biologist and interested amateur alike." (Nature)
Science
This book is destined to become the definitive text on insect thermoregulation: there is not competition, and it is so comprehensive and thoughtful that it is doubtful that any successor will soon be forthcoming.
Nature
The Hot-Blooded Insects is an outstanding source of information, and can be read with profit and satisfaction by the professional biologist and interested amateur alike.
Northeastern Naturalist
Both scientist and naturalist, the author combines technical information with delicate sketches and philosophical discussions. Destined to become the benchmark for future insect physiology texts.
American Entomologist
In this, his latest in a string of impressive books, Bernd Heinrich succeeds nobly in interpreting insect thermoregulation. As huge endotherms, we humans have little appreciation for the temperature challenges that confront a small-bodied insect. As an insect moves from shade to sunshine and back again, the temperature of his small body can swing wildly in just a few minutes. When it's too cold, shivering may be required to generate heat for flight, but at other times the challenge is too much heat and how to dissipate it quickly. These are the types of problems that the book addresses. An impressive literature on insect thermoregulation has accumulated over the past 20 years, thanks in large part to the author's own keen observations and experiments. However, this book is not a mere compilation of data extracted from the literature, but a thought-provoking and critical evaluation of articles published on this subject. Heinrich's intellectual savvy is apparent as he carefully identifies the key issues and skillfully debunks and number of ideas that pervade the literature...The book is written in a style that makes it easy for a nonspecialist to comprehend, yet contains enough depth for the most serious of scholars. Heinrich conveys the type of intense excitement that thrust many of us into entomological careers in the first place. Hot-Blooded Insects comes alive with the identification of key workers and their institutions; it is replete with splendid illustrations, including many of the author's own sketches.
Ecology
Bernd Heinrich has been a seminal figure in the developing field of insect thermoregulatory physiology...His latest work...is a comprehensive survey of current knowledge of insect thermoregulation, solidly based in the primary literature...[It] is an impressive and important contribution...Heinrich's stated goals were to provide a comprehensive synthesis and review of the literature and to encourage additional research. It's obvious that he also wanted to convey his fascination and delight in the diversity, sophistication, and elegance of insect thermoregulatory mechanisms, and in this he has succeeded admirably.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674408388
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 600
  • Product dimensions: 7.31 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 1.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernd Heinrich is Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Vermont. He has written several memoirs of his life in science and nature, including One Man’s Owl, and Ravens in Winter. Bumblebee Economics was twice a nominee for the American Book Award in Science, and A Year in the Maine Woods won the 1995 Rutstrum Authors’ Award for Literary Excellence.
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Table of Contents

Prologue 1
1 Night-Flying Moths 17
2 Butterflies and Wings 76
3 Dragonflies Now and Then 117
4 Grasshoppers and Other Orthoptera 143
5 Beetles Large and Small 191
6 Bumblebees Out in the Cold 227
7 Tropical Bees 277
8 Hot-Headed Honeybees 292
9 The Tolerance of Ants 323
10 Wasps and the Heat of Battle 334
11 Flies of All Kinds 343
12 Sweating Cicadas 369
13 Warm Caterpillars and Hot Maggots 382
14 Fever 411
15 Cold Jumpers 422
16 Social Thermoregulation 447
Summary 510
References 525
Acknowledgments 585
Index of Authors Cited 590
General Index 598
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