Book Review – For the Love of Insects by Thomas Eisner

Bug lover that I am I have read numerous books on insects but none have impressed me as much as “For Love of Insects” by Thomas Eisner. It is hard to exaggerate the admiration I have for this man and his work. All of the books I have read about these fascinating animals are normally loaded with excellent photographs and information about selected species detailing their range, habitat, and behaviors. And most of them are quite good, too. None, however, come as close to conveying the true complexity of insects as Thomas Eisner. Dr. Eisner does more than simply describe the arthropod he takes you into the internal organs of the animal, provides detailed drawings, pictures, and thanks to the thanks to the talents of his wife, Maria, some astonishing scanning electron microscopy. This entomology wizard does not stop there, of course. He articulates visually and in word how the insect employs it particular abilities. For example, we all know the peculiar behavior of the bombardier beetle and its explosive defense mechanism. But did you know that the compound blasted out is first held inside the beetle in separate chambers and then loaded into another chamber where a specific enzyme then initiates the chemical reaction necessary for the blast? This is just one example in this amazing work. In this book you will learn and see how some insects can accurately aim their spray in different directions, the chemical composition of it, the defensive mechanisms of millipedes, how microscopic fibers assist some insects, detailed examinations of how some avoid spider webs, and how some insects and spiders overcome these obstacles. And listen up insect lovers – in this book you’ll also learn experimental techniques, methods to capture, keep, and hold insects for observation, plus much, much more. Above all you will come away with an amazement for the anatomical and behavioral complexity of insects that you have never felt before. I cannot adequately express my admiration of the work. This wonderful Thomas Eisner passed away in 2011 but his book lives on as one of the best ever in its subject. For Love of Insectsis available on Amazon.

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