Friday, December 17, 2010

Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles

I have always found insects fascinating. And, insects make up an incredible amount of the total biomass of the earth. Ants make up about 10% alone and all social insects some 30% of the earth’s biomass. Insects probably have more biomass than any other land animal. A great insects site on the internet is World of Insects.

But, this book is not your normal book on insects. This interesting book is about our reactions and inter-reactions with insects. We probably have relatively little knowledge of the insects of our world. One chapter talks about a plane being used in Louisiana to trap insects in the sky. They found lots of insects 5,000 to 15,000 feet in the sky. We are not talking about insects that normally fly; we are talking about insects that are using the world’s air currents to go to another place.

His chapter on cricket in China is also fascinating. There crickets are looked after and trained to fight. It seems to be a mixture of art and science that is used by cricket fanciers. There is a whole different culture involving crickets. See Cricket Cultural for a history about crickets in China. Also, cricket cages are still sold in China, see Asian Art Mall.

See him on YouTube at Book Review for a short talk on his book or see him at Google for a 45 minute talk on his book.

Hugh Raffles has a wonderful site on this book at Insectopedia. You can find a review of this book at New York Times.

On my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See Raffles. Also, this book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Book Reviews.