Synopses & Reviews
Introduces over 300 of the most common species of Orthoptera in this first guide to one of the most abundant, colorful, and ecologically significant insect groups in North America.
"Orthoptera, or grasshoppers and their relatives, are more frequently heard than seen. But once one starts looking, the most 'obvious (abundant, large, colorful, noisy)' of insect groups, as the authors describe them, becomes readily apparent. The problem is, as the authors point out in the preface, many orthoptera are either 'cryptically colored' (showing their stripes only in flight, or blending in with surrounding flora) or 'cryptic in behavior (noctural)'; only the more dedicated amateur naturalists-for whom the book is designed-will seek them out. For those who do, this book is a perfect companion. Scott is a biologist and scientific illustrator; Capinera and Walker are professors of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida and have spent long hours in the fields differentiating the pygmy spurthroated grasshopper from the round-winged spurthroated grasshopper. After introductions to the parts of the orthoptera body, and to its life cycle, ecological impact, sound production capabilities and viability as a pet, the authors evaluate the orthoptera species by species. Each entry includes the 'distribution' of a species (where it's found, shown on individual shaded maps), major means of identification, the ecology (what kinds of places a species likes) and the species that can be called cousins. In addition, Capinera's and Walker's department maintains a Web site (buzz.ifas.ufl.edu) where readers can match the 'songs' they hear in the field with recordings, using the book's terrific color 'pictorial key' to the various noisemakers as a visual guide. But the highlight is certainly the 50 pages of Scott's color illustrations-this is apparently the first book to feature the full spectrum of North American orthoptera in color. For those who want to know what's plaguing them when locusts descend, this is the book." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)