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The Sand Wasps: Natural History and Behavior

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Overview


Howard Evans was a brilliant ethologist and systematist for whom the joy of science included lying on his belly in some remote location, digging out and diagramming a wasp's nest. During his career, Evans described over 900 species and authored more than a dozen books, both technical and popular, on a wide range of entomological and natural history subjects. Upon his death in 2002, he left behind an unfinished manuscript, intended as an update (though not a revision) of his classic 1966 work, The Comparative Ethology and Evolution of the Sand Wasps. Kevin O'Neill, Evans's former student and coauthor, has completed and enlarged Evans's manuscript, to provide coverage of all sand-wasp tribes in Evan's earlier book. The result is a tribe-by-tribe, species by species review of studies of the Bembicinae that have appeared over the last four decades. The Sand Wasps: Natural History and Behavior already has been hailed by specialists as a new bible for those working on solitary wasps and an essential reference for scientists more broadly interested in insect behavioral evolution.
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Editorial Reviews

Quarterly Review of Biology

This book will be an essential reference for any wasp researcher, beginning or established, as well as an indispensable library holding...The volume summarizes a large literature that would be difficult for any single investigator to assemble, given the many obscure, scattered sources cited and the diversity of languages translated...Given the remarkable expansion of knowledge described in this work, one wonders what the next 40 years of sand wasp research will reveal.
— Joseph R. Coelho

Thomas D. Seeley
Forty years ago, in The Comparative Ethology and Evolution of Sand Wasps, Howard Ensign Evans surveyed all that was known of the behavior of sand wasps. By mapping on the group's cladogram the modifications of their behavior (in nest building, brood provisioning, prey carrying, egg laying, etc.), he showed with unusual clarity the origins and evolution of these wasps' behavior patterns. The present work by Evans and Kevin O'Neill provides a beautiful update of our knowledge of this behaviorally and ecologically diverse group of wasps. The authors show ever so clearly how this group of large, brightly colored, and behaviorally complex wasps remains attractive to students of animal behavior, and how it offers tremendous potential for an integration of phylogenetic analyses with comparative behavioral studies to reveal a remarkable adaptive radiation in insect behavior.
Quarterly Review of Biology - Joseph R. Coelho
This book will be an essential reference for any wasp researcher, beginning or established, as well as an indispensable library holding...The volume summarizes a large literature that would be difficult for any single investigator to assemble, given the many obscure, scattered sources cited and the diversity of languages translated...Given the remarkable expansion of knowledge described in this work, one wonders what the next 40 years of sand wasp research will reveal.
Quarterly Review of Biology
This book will be an essential reference for any wasp researcher, beginning or established, as well as an indispensable library holding...The volume summarizes a large literature that would be difficult for any single investigator to assemble, given the many obscure, scattered sources cited and the diversity of languages translated...Given the remarkable expansion of knowledge described in this work, one wonders what the next 40 years of sand wasp research will reveal.
— Joseph R. Coelho
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674024625
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/30/2007
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

?Howard E. Evans was Professor Emeritus of Entomology, Colorado State University. From 1960 to 1973, he was at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. He was author of The Comparative Ethology and Evolution of the Sand Wasps and co-author of William Morton Wheeler, Biologist (both from Harvard), among many other books.

?Kevin M. O’Neill is Professor of Entomology, Montana State University, and author of Solitary Wasps: Natural History and Behavior.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Mary Alice Evans

Preface

1. Introduction

A Sand Wasp Sojourn

Sand Wasp Natural History¹/¹Sand Wasp Science

Sand Wasp Classification: A Short Course

Biology of the Bembicinae: A Primer

2. Cool Wasps of the Alyssontini

Alysson

Overview of the Tribe Alyssontini

3. Cicada and Hopper Hunters of the Gorytini

Clitemnestra

Exeirus

Sphecius

Tanyoprymnus

Ammatomus

Argogorytes

Harpactus

Trichogorytes

Austrogorytes

Gorytes

Pseudoplisus

Lestiphorus

Liogorytes

Hoplisoides

Sagenista

Overview of the Tribe Gorytini

4. Brood Parasites of the Nyssonini

Nysson

Acanthostethus

Zanysson

Overview of the Tribe Nyssonini

5. Stizini: A Mixed Tribe of Hopper Hunters and Brood Parasites

Stizus

Stizoides

Bembecinus

6. Bembicini: The Diverse New World Genera

Bicyrtes

Microbembex

Hemidula

Rubrica

Selman

Stictia

Editha

Trichostictia

Zyzzyx

Stictiella

Microstictia

Glenostictia

Xerostictia

Steniolia

7. Bembicini: The Cosmopolitan Genus Bembix

Nearctic Bembix

Neotropical Bembix

Palearctic Bembix

Oriental Bembix

Afrotropical Bembix

Australasian Bembix

Overview of Bembix

8. Comparative Ethology of Sand Wasps

Habitat

Nesting Substrate

Nest Dispersion: Causes and Consequences

Interspecific Nesting Associations

Nest Construction

Orientation and Homing

Oviposition and Provisioning

Estimates of Lifetime Reproductive Success

Prey Type

Measuring Prey Diversity

Hunting and Prey Paralysis

Prey Carriage

Feeding by Adults

Brood Parasitic Bembicinae

Natural Enemies

Male Behavior

Sleeping

Sand Wasp Conservation

Appendix: Research Wish List

References

Index

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