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- author Jackie French

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Review: Insectopia: The Wonderful World of Insects

Czech entomologist, Jiri Kolibac, presents his life’s work in this large format encyclopedia of insects, of which there are possibly between 6 to 10 million insect species.

The dawn of insects is estimated at 410 million years. The oldest insect-like fossil was discovered in 1919.

Stunning and superbly presented, Insectopia: The Wonderful World of Insects is compiled of forty-seven, double-spread entries, with incredibly beautiful, full-page illustrations. Pavla Dvorska must be complimented, as her entire work adds elegance to the book.

The analysis of each insect is covered by a great deal of historical information and statistics included within the narrative. It addresses the anatomy and body structure, morphology, biology and development, and a survey of the order of insects.

Common and scientific names are provided in English, Greek and Latin.

Included are insects that undergo complete metamorphosis, and incomplete metamorphosis. Especially interesting are the bees and ants, vampire bugs that suck other insects to death, and the courtship rituals and nuptial gifts of the Dance Flies, also known as Dagger Flies.

There are 3,000 termite species and they don’t only feed on wood, but also on organic matter. The dark lives of beetles, the relationship between slave-making ants and enslaved ants, and how some insects use Batesian mimicry for self-protection, make interesting reading.

Although some might view them as destructive, disease-carrying pests that need exterminating, each insect has a role to play, and all are important to humanity and life on Earth. Unfortunately, scientific evidence reports that forty per cent of insect species face extinction in the next few decades.

Humans can learn a great deal by studying the relationships of insects; their division of labour within their communities and the way they care for their young.

This book comes highly recommended to nature lovers, anyone studying this subject, or those who are simply wanting to learn about our earth and its tiniest creatures.

Title: Insectopia: The Wonderful World of Insects
Author: Jiri Kolibac
Illustrator: Pavla Dvorska
Publisher: Albatros Books, $ 57.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9788000069685
For ages: 12+
Type: Non Fiction