Secret Weapons: Defenses of Insects, Spiders, Scorpions, and Other Many-Legged Creatures

Secret Weapons: Defenses of Insects, Spiders, Scorpions, and Other Many-Legged Creatures

By: Thomas Eisner (author), Melody Siegler (author), Maria Eisner (author)Paperback

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Mostly tiny, infinitely delicate, and short-lived, insects and their relatives--arthropods--nonetheless outnumber all their fellow creatures on earth. How lowly arthropods achieved this unlikely preeminence is a story deftly and colorfully told in this follow-up to the award-winning For Love of Insects. Part handbook, part field guide, part photo album, Secret Weapons chronicles the diverse and often astonishing defensive strategies that have allowed insects, spiders, scorpions, and other many-legged creatures not just to survive, but to thrive. In sixty-nine chapters, each brilliantly illustrated with photographs culled from Thomas Eisner's legendary collection, we meet a largely North American cast of arthropods--as well as a few of their kin from Australia, Europe, and Asia--and observe at firsthand the nature and extent of the defenses that lie at the root of their evolutionary success. Here are the cockroaches and termites, the carpenter ants and honeybees, and all the miniature creatures in between, deploying their sprays and venom, froth and feces, camouflage and sticky coatings. And along with a marvelous bug's-eye view of how these secret weapons actually work, here is a close-up look at the science behind them, from taxonomy to chemical formulas, as well as an appendix with instructions for studying chemical defenses at home. Whether dipped into here and there or read cover to cover, Secret Weapons will prove invaluable to hands-on researchers and amateur naturalists alike, and will captivate any reader for whom nature is a source of wonder.

About Author

Thomas Eisner was J.G. Schurman Professor of Chemical Ecology at Cornell University. In 1994 he was awarded the National Medal of Science. His film Secret Weapons won the Grand Award at the New York Film Festival and was named Best Science Film by the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Maria Eisner is Research Associate of Biology at Cornell University. Melody Siegler is Associate Professor of Biology at Emory University.


Prologue CLASS ARACHNIDA Order uropygi Family Theliphonidae 1. Mastigoproctus giganteus (the vinegaroon) Order opiliones Family Cosmetidae 2. Vonones sayi (a harvestman) Family Sclerosomatidae 3. Leiobunum nigripalpi (a daddylonglegs) Order scorpiones Family Vejovidae 4. Vejovis spinigerus (the striped tail scorpion) Order araneida Family Oxyopidae 5. Peucetia viridans (the green lynx spider) CLASS CHILOPODA Order scolopendrida Family Scolopendridae 6. Scolopendra heros (the giant Sonoran centipede) Order geophilida Family Oryidae 7. Orphnaeus brasilianus (a geophilid centipede) CLASS DIPLOPODA Order spirobolida Family Floridobolidae 8. Floridobolus penneri (the Florida scrub millipede) Order polydesmida Family Polydesmidae 9. Apheloria kleinpeteri (a polydesmid millipede) Order polyzoniida Family Polyzoniidae 10. Polyzonium rosalbum (a polyzoniid millipede) Order glomerida Family Glomeridae 11. Glomeris marginata (a pill millipede) Order polyxenida Family Polyxenidae 12. Polyxenus fasciculatus (a bristle millipede) CLASS INSECTA Order dyctioptera Family Blattidae 13. Eurycotis floridana (the Florida woods cockroach) 14. Periplaneta australasiae (the Australian cockroach) 15. Deropeltis wahlbergi (a blattid cockroach) Family Blaberidae 16. Diploptera punctata (the Pacific beetle cockroach) Order dermaptera Family Forficulidae 17. Doru taeniatum (an earwig) Order isoptera Family Termitidae 18. Nasutitermes exitiosus (a termite) Order phasmatodea Family Diapheromeridae 19. Oreophoetes peruana (a walkingstick) Family Pseudophasmatidae 20. Anisomorpha buprestoides (the two-striped walkingstick) Order orthoptera Family Romaleidae 21. Romalea guttata (the eastern lubber grasshopper) Order hemiptera Family Coreidae 22. Chelinidea vittiger (a leaf-footed bug) Family Reduviidae 23. Apiomerus flaviventris (a reduviid bug) Family Belostomatidae 24. Abedus herberti (a giant water bug) Family Aphididae 25. Aphis nerii (the oleander aphid) 26. Prociphilus tessellatus (the woolly alder aphid) Family Flatidae 27. Ormenaria rufifascia (a flatid planthopper) Family Cercopidae 28. Prosapia bicincta (the two-lined spittlebug) Family Dactylopiidae 29. Dactylopius confusus (a cochineal bug) Family Aleyrodidae 30. Metaleurodicus griseus (a whitefly) Order neuroptera Family Chrysopidae 31. Ceraeochrysa cubana (a green lacewing) 32. Ceraeochrysa smithi (a green lacewing) 33. Chrysopa slossonae (a green lacewing) Order coleoptera Family Carabidae 34. Galerita lecontei (a ground beetle) 35. Brachinus (many species) (bombardier beetles) Family Gyrinidae 36. Dineutus hornii (a whirligig beetle) Family Dytiscidae 37. Thermonectus marmoratus (a predaceous diving beetle) Family Silphidae 38. Necrodes surinamensis (the red-lined carrion beetle) Family Staphylinidae 39. Creophilus maxillosus (the hairy rove beetle) Family Cantharidae 40. Chauliognathus lecontei (a soldier beetle) Family Lampyridae 41. Photinus ignitus and Photuris versicolor (fireflies) Family Lycidae 42. Calopteron reticulatum (the banded net-winged beetle) Family Elateridae 43. Alaus myops (the eyed elater) Family Buprestidae 44. Acmaeodera pulchella (the flat-headed baldcypress sapwood borer) Family Coccinellidae 45. Cycloneda sanguinea (a ladybird beetle) 46. Epilachna varivestis (the Mexican bean beetle) Family Meloidae 47. Epicauta (an unidentified species) (a blister beetle) Family Pyrochroidae 48. Neopyrochroa flabellata (a fire-colored beetle) Family Tenebrionidae 49. Adelium percatum (a darkling beetle) 50. Bolitotherus cornutus (the forked fungus beetle) 51. Eleodes longicollis (a darkling beetle) Family Scarabaeidae 52. Trichiotinus rufobrunneus (a scarab beetle) Family Chrysomelidae 53. Hemisphaerota cyanea (a tortoise beetle) 54. Gratiana pallidula (a tortoise beetle) 55. Plagiodera versicolora (the imported willow leaf beetle) Order lepidoptera Family Dalceridae 56. Dalcerides ingenita (a dalcerid moth) Family Noctuidae 57. Litoprosopus futilis (the palmetto borer moth) Family Notodontidae 58. Schizura unicornis (the unicorn caterpillar moth) Family Thyrididae 59. Calindoea trifascialis (a thyridid moth) Family Yponomeutidae 60. Ypsolopha dentella (the European honeysuckle leaf roller) Family Geometridae 61. Nemoria outina (a geometrid moth) Family Arctiidae 62. Utetheisa ornatrix (the rattlebox moth) Family Saturniidae 63. Automeris io (the io moth) Family Papilionidae 64. Eurytides marcellus (the zebra swallowtail butterfly) Family Pieridae 65. Pieris rapae (the cabbage butterfly) Family Nymphalidae 66. Danaus plexippus (the monarch butterfly) Order hymenoptera Family Pergidae 67. Perga affinis (a pergine sawfly) Family Formicidae 68. Camponotus floridanus (a carpenter ant) Family Apidae 69. Apis mellifera (the honey bee) Epilogue How to Study Insects and Their Kin Acknowledgments Illustration Credits Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780674024038
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 384
  • ID: 9780674024038
  • ISBN10: 0674024036

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