With nearly 200,000 species worldwide, moths are the planet's second-largest order of animals (after beetles). They form the major part of the Lepidoptera,
far outnumbering their more familiar cousins, butterflies. Majerus, a British entomologist, has produced an extremely thorough book about the lives of these "butterflies of the night." Lengthy chapters cover life history and anatomy, evolution, sex, host plants and habitats, flight and distribution, disease and predators, and defenses. Each chapter discusses the place of moths in the natural world and gives specific examples for each general concept that is discussed. A chapter on melanism points out the influence of moths on the way biologists think about evolution, and a final chapter looks at the wide-ranging impact humans have had on moths (and vice versa). Though the book has a decidedly British slant, the universality of the overall principles transcends this partiality. Its price is steep, but there is no other book that matches the author's thoroughness and timeliness. A must for academic libraries and larger public libraries, and recommended for all others. Nancy BentCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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About the Author
Michael Majerus is a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and teaches undergraduates about evolution and natural history at the Department of Genetics. He has had a passionate interest in insects, particularly butterflies and moths, since the age of four. He is excellent at popularising science, and is the author of the popular New Naturalist Ladybirds.