Insect Lives: Stories of Mystery and Romance from a Hidden World

Front Cover
Erich Hoyt, Ted Schultz
Harvard University Press, 2002 - Science - 360 pages
3 Reviews

Insects inhabit an often unexamined microcosmos, pursuing lives that are often strange beyond our wildest imaginings. From the dawn of humanity, our six-legged fellow Earthlings have repelled and enthralled us. Humans have exterminated, eaten, domesticated, and even excommunicated insects. We collect them, we curse them, and we have penned a surprising body of literature about them.

Insect Lives: Stories of Mystery and Romance from a Hidden World offers an entertaining and informative survey of the human fascination, dreadful and otherwise, with insects diabolical and divine, from accounts in the Bible and Aristotle to the writings of Charles Darwin and the great nineteenth-century naturalists sending home accounts from the rain forest. Highlighted here are observations from E. O. Wilson, Jean-Henri Fabré, David Quammen, May Berenbaum, Roger Swain, William Wordsworth, A. S. Byatt, Gary Larson and more than sixty other writers who tell of the mystery and romance of that other, hidden world beneath our feet and beyond our rolled-up newspapers.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - trouthe - LibraryThing

This is a wide-ranging collection of short essays about insects. Quite a lot of it falls into into the type of nature writing that most bores me - trite observations all dressed up with poetic ... Read full review

Insect lives: stories of mystery and romance from a hidden world

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The editors of this anthology, by their own admission, have gathered here an eclectic assortment of pieces about insects and how we humans have perceived them through the ages. Hoyt is a writer whose ... Read full review

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Contents

So Great the Excitement
7
To a Butterfly
13
The Sacred Beetle
14
Enjoying Insects in the Home harden
20
The Ways of a Mud Dauber
25
Ode to the Cricket
29
Manna from Heaven
31
Things Clean and Unclean
34
Some Accounts of the Termites
159
The Hometown of the Army Ants
166
The New Zealand Glowworm
169
Guatemalan WebSpinning Cave Flies
172
Caddisfly Houses and Net Traps
176
Bee Cells
180
Go Forth and Multiply Mating and Reproduction
187
The Hostile Madness of Love
189

The Culinary Marvels of Insect Life
36
Insect Extravaganza
38
Why Not Eat Insects?
40
Sugaring for Moths
42
Bug Off
46
Plagues of Vermin Insects Reviled
49
A Treatise of Buggs
51
DeathWatch Beetles and the Flypaper Sellers of London
53
Insecticides
62
Bee Bites
64
A Pain Scale for Bee Wasp and Ant Stings
69
Fancy Footwork
75
Sympathy for the Devil
79
Of Maggots and Murderers
83
To Conquer the Earth Insects Take Over
89
Disturbing the Composure of an Entomologists Mind
91
Locusts in the Land of Egypt
94
Giant Red Velvet Mites
96
Them
98
Insects from Mars
102
A Republic of Insects and Grass
103
Insects Take Over
105
The End
106
A Cast of Millions on a Fantastic Journey Mass Movement
107
Insects at Sea
109
Army Ants
111
Caterpillars on the Line
116
Swarms of Flied
118
More Flies at Teatime
123
Need Nectar Will Travel
127
The Superorganism Social Insects
131
The Insect Societies
133
Morpho Eugenia
137
The Spirit of the Hive
143
The Termite Queen in Her Egg Chamber
146
Hive Mind
147
Insect Architecture
157
The Synchronous Flashing of Fireflies
193
Sex on the Brain
198
The Courtship Gifts of Balloon Flies
206
How to Win Mates and Influence Enemies
213
Fatal Attractions
219
No Sex Please
223
Metamorphosis
225
Of Eggs Grubs Nymphas and Wings
227
The Wondrous Transformation of Caterpillars
229
Everyday Miracles
232
The Mediterranean Worm Lion
236
Mexican Jumping Beans Real Live
239
The Double Life
241
Symbioses and Mimicry
247
Tiny Pollinator Big Job
249
Jerrys Botfly
253
The Ant and the Acacia Tree
259
To a Louse
265
An Earful of Mites
267
Murder by Narcosis
280
The AntDecapitating Fly
284
For the Love of Nature
289
Mimics Aggressive and Otherwise
292
Lives under the Microscope Insect Behavior
297
Little CrumpleWing
299
Brute Neighbors
307
SlaveMaking in Ants
310
The Daintiness of Ants
314
The Tenderness of Earwigs
320
Termites and Stingless Bees
322
The Social Behavior of Burying Beetles
326
Insect Consciousness
333
Acknowledgments
349
List of Authors
353
Index
355
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Erich Hoyt has written forNational Geographicand theNew York Times. He is the author of ten books.

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