Synopses & Reviews
Recently another book on insect physiology was published. It was restricted to a few focal points as are many of these new insect physiology books, but there was considerable depth in its specialized point of view. We were dis- cussing the structure of this book and of insect physiology books, in general, when Prof. Remmert asked me " . . . and what about books on spider physio- logy?" Silence. Then I started to explain "oh yes, there is a congress pro- ceedings volume on this topic and there is a group with excellent publica- tions on another topic . . .," but I felt that this answer was weak. One can no longer buy the proceedings volume in a bookshop and to read a series of publications on a given topic one must search in a library for a dozen journals. Why is there not a single book on spider physiology comparable with the many books on insect physiology? Are spiders a scientific ivory tower, far from public interest and commercial importance? I do not think so, although spiders are one of the many "forgotten" animal groups which always grew in the shadow of the insects. There are research groups working on spider physiology, there are fascinating phenomena in this animal group and there are plenty of exciting results. Spiders may have been always underresearch- ed, but research is progressing. In the last few years, new books have been published, e. g.