Broadsides from the Other Orders: A Book of Bugs
Random House Publishing Group
, 1993 - Science
- 276 pages
Did you know that for every pound of human beings in the world there are estimated to be three hundred pounds of bugs? That 25 percent of all animal species are beetles? That dragonflies can fly sixty miles per hour? That there may be fifty million midges in a single swarm? Whether or not you are curious about insects, Broadsides from the Other Orders is a bewitching mixture of facts of nature and perceptive reflections. The author of A Country Year and A Book of Bees now turns her attention to butterflies, midges and gnats, ladybugs, daddy longlegs, black flies, so-called killer bees, water striders, silverfish, katydids, dragonflies, gypsy moths, syrphid flies, and camel crickets. Aside from the fact that among themselves entomologists call all of them bugs, these insects have little in common; each is unique, plays a distinct role in its own ecosystem, and is as interesting to read about as is the most complex human being. A poll once revealed that 90 percent of all Americans profess to hate bugs, but Sue Hubbell writes with such wonder, affection, authority, and wit about these tiny creatures that any reader of this book will become absorbed by them as well. Her enchantment with them, and with the scientists who study them, some of whom we meet here, is further evidence that, in the words of The New York Times Book Review, "the real masterwork that Sue Hubbell has created is her life".