THE STRANGE LIFE OF FAMILIAR INSECTS by Edwin Way Teale
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THE STRANGE LIFE OF FAMILIAR INSECTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If you possessed six legs and had to use them in walking, how would you move them?"" With such questions as this, naturalist Teale draws attention to the breathtaking variety of adaptive mechanisms to be found in the world of insects. The nature and uses of sensory organs, breathing apparatus, memory, flying apparatus, migratory traits, and reproductive patterns are outlined in ""biographies"" of the eleven most common orders of insects. The ""goat of the insect world"", we learn, is the drugstore beetle, known to eat at least 45 different substances including some common poisons. The deathwatch beetle, ambush bug, bombadier beetle, and robber fly all come under scrutiny, as well as many others with equally curious names. To date, some 685,000 species of insects have been named and described, making this category of creature the most prevalent form of visible life on earth. It is therefore in man's best interest to know something of the science of entomology. Once again, Teale has lived up to his reputation for charm and technical clarity. Farmers seeking historical information about corn borers and boll weevils, or country visitors delighted by the playful swoop of a dragonfly, or homemakers struggling to eradicate household pests, can all find something to engage their interest or comfort them in their plight.

Publisher: Dodd, Mead