Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Wasp

Our fear and fascination with wasps set them apart from other insects. Despite their iconic form and distinctive colors, they are surrounded by myth and misunderstanding. Often portrayed in cartoon-like stereotypes bordering on sad parody, wasps have an unwelcome and undeserved reputation for aggressiveness bordering on vindictive spite. This mistrust is deep-seated in a human history that has awarded commercial and spiritual value to other insects, such as bees, but has failed to recognize any worth in wasps.

Leading entomologist Richard Jones redresses the balance in this enlightening and entertaining guide to the natural and cultural history of these powerful arthropod carnivores. Jones delves into their complex nesting and colony behavior, their fascinating caste system, and their major role at the center of many food webs. Drawing on up-to-date scientific concepts and featuring many striking color illustrations, Jones pushes past the sting, showing exactly why wasps are worthy of greater understanding and appreciation.

208 pages | 80 color plates, 20 halftones | 5 1/4 x 7 1/2

Animal

Biological Sciences: Biology--Systematics


Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books

Reviews

"In Wasp, Jones provides an entertaining look at the fascination and fear that surrounds wasps. . . . The book investigates the biology and ecology of wasps, their representation in human culture, and attempts to answer the question 'what is the point of wasps?' . . . Jones provides good evidence and a well-structured argument as to why the persecution of these wasps must cease. This book is an important contribution to our reeducation: we need a better understanding of vespid hymenopterans and their functional value within healthy ecosystems. And it also reawakens the ethical questions surrounding humanity’s right to persecute other species."

Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine

"I was very glad to find a readable, scholarly, and interesting book about wasps. Beekeepers tend to have a negative view of these close bee-relatives, but recently I have begun to realize how very unfair this view may be. . . . Beautifully illustrated throughout. . . . Jones has a rare gift in being able to impart his knowledge to the reader in such a refreshing way."

Irish Beekeeper

"Leading entomologist Jones redresses the balance in this enlightening and entertaining guide to the natural and cultural history of these powerful carnivores. He delves into their complex nesting and colony behavior, their unique caste system, and their major role at the center of many food webs. Drawing on up-to-date scientific concepts, he successfully shows exactly why wasps are worthy of greater understanding and appreciation."

Pest Magazine

"A well-researched and enthusiastically written addition to the Reaktion series on Animals. The format is highly distinctive, with a mixture of natural history, science, art, and folklore."

British Journal of Entomology and Natural History

"A handy paperback-sized volume, the first thing that struck me about the book was just how lavishly it is illustrated. Few pages are without some kind of figure or photo and in many cases the illustrations are in color. . . . When it comes to content and readability, the book is no less impressive. With a book like this you want a combination of comforting, familiar content, things you knew at one point but had forgotten, and plenty of material that is new and interesting. Each chapter is loaded with all of the above and the narrative flows along at a great pace without ever getting too technical or too simplified."

Antenna

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press