The Insects: An Outline of Entomology / Edition 3

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This established and popular textbook is the definitive guide to the study of insects; a group of animals that represent over half of the planet’s biological diversity.

  • Completely updated and expanded, this new edition examines all aspects of insect biology including anatomy and physiology, ecology and evolution of insects, insect behaviours such as sociality, predation, parasitism and defense, medical and veterinary entomology and methods of collection, preserving and identifying insects.
  • Features new chapters on the methods and results of studies of insect phylogeny and a new review of insect evolution and biogeography.
  • Includes expanded sections on species diversity, social behaviour, pest management, aquatic entomology, parasitology and medical entomology.
  • Successful strategies in insect conservation are also covered for the first time, reflecting the increasing threat to natural ecosystems from environmental changes.
  • Boxes highlighting key themes, suggestions for further reading and illustrations, including specially commissioned drawings and colour plates, are included throughout.
  • The artwork from the text is available for instructors either via CD-ROM or by visiting
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gullan and Cranston" has become the standard in the field....engagingly written and packed with interesting and up-to-date entomological examples.....the most thoroughly updated and appealing general entomology textbook on the market." American Entomologist, Winter 2004

“Students wanting a single book to give them the whole picture need look no further … Since receiving The Insects I have referred to it daily, my other standby reference texts meriting only an occasional glance. It is an extremely well written and thoroughly up-to-date text, amply and clearly illustrated with magnificent black-and-white drawings.” Review of the first edition in Nature

"...a seriously comprehensive book that any student of entomology should have" Dr John Feltwell, Independent Consultant Ecologist

"an excellent teaching resource and reference work....Penny Gullan and Peter Cranston have certainly written an eminently usable textbook that will be popular with people lecturing entomology courses and with biologists interested in comprehensive and modern synopsis of the most diverse class of animals." African Entomology, 2005

"this not simply a textbook. It is well written and eminently readable with the authors' enthusiasm for their subject apparent throughout. It also has an international scope...Consequently whilst being an invaluable reference source for students, tutors and researchers alike, it will also appeal to amateurs interested in learning more about insects than the basic facts. All in all, this book will make a valuable and much used addition to any school, university library or personal library." Journal of Insect Conservation, June 2005

"Penny Gullan and Peter Cranston have certainly written an eminently usable textbook that will be popular with people lecturing entomology courses and with biologists interested in a comprehensive and modern synopsis of the most diverse class of animals." African Entomology, June 2005

"This book is probably the most well-written textbook in entomology in our present time...As an introduction to the broad field of entomology, this textbook is highly recommended." Norwegian Journal of Entomology, August 2005

"This established and popular textbook is the definitive guide to the study of insects..." Ethology, Ecology and Evolution, August 2005

From the Publisher

“Overall I am delighted to see that the 5th edition of this textbook has retained the format and style that so attracted me to entomology some 20 years ago. At the same time, each edition, and the 5th edition is no exception in this, has responded to developments in technology and concerns that drive the field of entomology. I am delighted to see that I will have no hesitation in recommending the latest edition of this textbook to our students.” (Antenna, 1 January 2015)

Penny Gullan and Peter Cranston have recently produced a revised fifth version of their text, maintaining much of the structure and style of the former editions, but significantly updating the information and adding a chapter on human-mediated changes in insect distributions; i.e. global climate change, globalized commerce, and invasive insects. . . The book is supported by a companion website that includes Powerpoint versions of all illustrations and PDFs of all tables, thereby aiding lecture development. By significantly updating the information presented in the book, the authors amply illustrate the dynamic nature of Entomology. Insects can capture the imagination of new students, but showing those students that Entomology can sustain an exciting life is the means to recruit the ablest minds to our discipline. This book is an excellent ambassador to that pursuit.” (Cornell University Insect Collection, 8 December 2014)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405111133
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Penny Gullan and Peter Cranston are both professors at the Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, USA.
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Table of Contents

List Of Color Plates.

List Of Boxes.

Acknowledgments For Vignettes.


1. The Importance And Diversity Of Insects:.

What Is Entomology?.

The Importance Of Insects.

Insect Biodiversity.

Insects In Popular Culture And Commerce.

Insects As Food.

Insect Conservation.

2. External Anatomy:.

The Cuticle.

Segmentation And Tagmosis.

The Head.

The Thorax.

The Abdomen.

3. Internal Anatomy And Physiology:.

Muscles And Locomotion.

The Nervous System And Co-Ordination.

The Endocrine System And The Function Of Hormones.

The Circulatory System.

The Tracheal System And Gas Exchange.

The Gut, Digestion And Nutrition.

The Excretory System And Waste Disposal.

Reproductive Organs.

4. Sensory Systems And Behavior:.

Mechanical Stimuli.

Thermal Stimuli.

Chemical Stimuli.

Insect Vision.

Insect Behavior.

5. Reproduction:.

Bringing The Sexes Together.


Sexual Selection.


Diversity In Genitalic Morphology.

Sperm Storage, Fertilization And Sex Determination.

Sperm Competition.

Oviparity (Egg-Laying).

Ovoviviparity And Viviparity.

Atypical Modes Of Reproduction.

Physiological Control Of Reproduction.

6. Insect Development And Life Histories:.


Life-History Patterns And Phases.

Process And Control Of Molting.



Dealing With Environmental Extremes.


Polymorphism And Polyphenism.


Environmental Effects On Development.

Climate And Insect Distributions.

7. Insect Relationships:.


The Extant Hexapods.

Protura (Proturans), Collembola (Springtails), Diplura (Diplurans).

Class Insecta (True Insects).

8. Insect Biogeography And Evolution:.

Insect Biogeography.

The Antiquity Of Insects.

Were The First Insects Aquatic Or Terrestrial?.

Evolution Of Wings.

Evolution Of Metamorphosis.

Insect Diversification.

Insect Diversification In The Pacific.

9. Ground-Dwelling Insects:.

Insects Of Litter And Soil.

Insects And Dead Trees Or Decaying Wood.

Insects And Dung.

Insect-Carrion Interactions.

Insect-Fungal Interactions.

Cavernicolous Insects.

Environmental Monitoring Using Ground­-Dwelling Hexapods.

10. Aquatic Insects:.

Taxonomic Distribution And Terminology.

The Evolution Of Aquatic Lifestyles.

Aquatic Insects And Their Oxygen Supplies.

The Aquatic Environment.

Environmental Monitoring Using Aquatic Insects.

Functional Feeding Groups.

Insects Of Temporary Waterbodies.

Insects Of The Marine, Intertidal And Littoral Zones.

11. Insects And Plants:.

Coevolutionary Interactions Between Insects And Plants.

Phytophagy (Or Herbivory).

Insects And Plant Reproductive Biology.

Insects That Live Mutualistically In Specialized Plant Structures.

12. Insect Societies:.

Subsociality In Insects.

Eusociality In Insects.

Inquilines And Parasites Of Social Insects.

Evolution And Maintenance Of Eusociality.

Success Of Eusocial Insects.

13. Insect Predation And Parasitism:.

Prey/ Host Location.

Prey/Host Acceptance And Manipulation.

Prey/Host Selection And Specificity.

Population Biology - Predator/Parasitoid And Prey/Host Abundance.

The Evolutionary Success Of Insect Predation And Parasitism.

14. Insect Defense:.

Defense By Hiding.

Secondary Lines Of Defense.

Mechanical Defenses.

Chemical Defenses.

Defense By Mimicry.

Collective Defenses In Gregarious And Social Insects.

15. Medical And Veterinary Entomology:.

Insect Nuisance And Phobia.

Venoms And Allergens.

Insects As Causes And Vectors Of Disease.

Generalized Disease Cycles.


Forensic Entomology.

16. Pest Management:.

Insects As Pests.

The Effects Of Insecticides.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Chemical Control.

Biological Control.

Host-Plant Resistance To Insects.

Physical Control.

Cultural Control.

Pheromones And Other Insect Attractants.

Genetic Manipulation Of Insect Pests.

17. Methods In Entomology: Collecting, Preservation, Curation And Identification:.


Preservation And Curation.


Glossary Of Entomological And Selected Technical Terms.

Appendix: A Reference Guide To Orders.


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