Paperback Naturalists' Handbook

By (author) Helen E. Roy, By (author) Peter M. J. Brown, By (author) Richard F. Comont, By (author) Remy Poland, By (author) John J. Sloggett, Illustrated by Sophie Allington, Illustrated by Chris Shields

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  • Publisher: Pelagic Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 142 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 198mm x 16mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 15 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Exeter
  • ISBN 10: 1907807071
  • ISBN 13: 9781907807077
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: colour plates, black & white illustrations, figures, colour illustrations, colour plates and maps, extensive b/w figures and illustrations
  • Sales rank: 663,011

Product description

This revised and updated edition of Ladybirds provides a succinct but comprehensive and accessible overview of the biology of ladybirds and their parasites, focusing on ecology in an evolutionary context. It provides the latest information, coverage of recent additions to the British list including the harlequin ladybird, and makes suggestions for further research, both short and long term, highlighting gaps in knowledge and showing readers how to get involved with recording and studying ladybirds. It includes updated keys for the identification of ladybirds at late-instar larval and adult stages, and techniques for studying ladybirds and their parasites in both laboratory and field. The authors hope that this book will be a valuable resource, not only for students, from school to university and beyond, but also for anyone with an interest in natural history, whether professional or recreational.

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Author information

In 1997 Helen Roy completed her PhD (on the ecology of ladybirds, Pandora neoaphidis(fungal insect pathogen) and other aphid natural enemies) at Rothamsted Research (linked with Nottingham University) and took up a position as lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University. Helen combined research with teaching for 10 years before taking up a position (research scientist) with the Biological Records Centre (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) where she is responsible for zoological data and research and works extensively with national zoological schemes and societies. Her research focuses on the effects of environmental change on insect populations and communities. She is particularly interested in the dynamics of invasive species and their effects on native biodiversity. She coordinates the UK Ladybird Survey and is using the large-scale and long-term coccinellidae datasets (distribution and abundance) to understand and predict the effects of the arrival of the non-native harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) on native species. This work was selected for the 2009 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and the Moscow Science Festival in 2010. Helen has been invited to exhibit her research on ladybirds at the BBC Gardener's World Exhibition in June 2011. Helen is working on a project to produce a comprehensive information portal on non-native species in Great Britain. She also leads a European study group within the International Organisation for Biological Control (IOBC) on the Risks and benefits of Exotic Biological Control Agents which uses the harlequin ladybird as a model species. Helen continues with her research interests first initiated in her PhD on the ecology and dynamics of insect host-parasite interactions and has recently led an editorial team to produce a journal special edition (Ecology of Fungal Entomopathgens - Springer) which reflects her work in this field. She is currently working on another journal special issue (Invasive alien arthropod predators and parasitoids: an ecological approach), an activity through the IOBC WG that she leads. The ecology of ladybirds is a subject that appeals to the public and throughout her career Helen has taken every opportunity to communicate her research to a wider audience. This has included natural history talks, school visits, bioblitz, popular science articles, podcasts and a significant number of interviews with the media. The arrival of the non-native harlequin ladybird in 2004 captured the imagination of the media and there has been sustained media interest in research on this species over the last six years.

Review quote

"...quite excellent..." -- Simon Barnes The Times It's pretty much the only book you'll ever need if you want to get into ladybirds. It covers everything from life history, evolutionary biology, population and more. It also has a key to help you identify and a section on how and where to collect ladybirds for recording. If you like ladybirds, you'll like this book! -- Suffolk Naturalist Suffolk Naturalist A lovely book and if I had it when I was six I would have burst with joy! It's all you need as a thorough introduction to the UK's Ladybirds and all you need to identify them. It's got ecology, behaviour, evolution and physiology alongside a great ID guide and up-to-date distribution maps. Once again the Pelagic team produce an invaluable treatise which fills the gaps for serious naturalists. And schoolboys with a fascination for brightly coloured beetles! -- Chris Packham Many of us have watched this book emerge from the Cambridge University stable as the key reference work to the identification and study of ladybirds in the UK. Life before this was dull, with only a rather over-complex, black and white illustrated Royal Entomological Society Handbook on Coccinellidae (Pope, 1953) widely available for use (excellent diagrams, but a bit like describing the colour of snooker balls to those watching a snooker competition on black and white TV, for those who remember those happy days). Life became a bit more exciting with colour plates with the publication of the now sadly little-referred to Wayside & Woodland Beetles of the British Isles by Linssen (1959). Indeed all the ingredients were there for a fabulous book by the 1980s, and Mike Majerus and Peter Kearns finally achieved this with their publication of a proper colour guide to British ladybirds in 1989. This resulted in a massive increase in recording of ladybirds and a greater understanding of the species' distributions in the UK. With the untimely death of Mike Majerus, the new team under lead author Helen Roy has accumulated a wealth of new information about the biology of our native ladybirds - in this case an extra 39 pages since the first edition. The book covers the 47 species species now resident in Britain and focuses on the 26 species most frequently encountered. Chapters cover the life history and distribution of ladybirds, colour variation, population and evolutionary biology and methods of sampling and recording. This book contains just about everything you need to know when trying to identify British ladybirds as well as providing interesting information about the biology of each species. Readers who wish to know more about the distribution and status of our coccinellids should refer to the recent atlas by Roy et al. (2011). By now you may have guessed this book is a must for anyone interested in entomology and Coleoptera. -- John Badmin British Journal of Entomology & Natural History