The sheer scale and variety of insects are impossible for most of us to contemplate, but Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson provides at least a glimpse of their wonder in her charming Buzz, Sting, Bite. In essence, the book is an extended meditation on a question that Sverdrup-Thygeson, an entomologist at Norway’s University of Life Sciences, gets asked all the time: What good are bugs anyway? ... The famous biologist E. O. Wilson once said: 'If human beings were to disappear tomorrow, the world would go on with little change. … But if invertebrates were to disappear, I doubt that the human species could live more than a few months.' Sverdrup-Thygeson makes much the same case. But while Wilson’s quote is laced with doom, Sverdrup-Thygeson strives to make you like insects, too, highlighting them in all their buzzing, stinging, biting glory.
Sverdrup-Thygeson, a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, offers a lively introduction to the six-legged creatures that share our planet, while making the case that their survival is inextricably linked to ours. The author possesses an infectious enthusiasm for the bugs she profiles and manages to imbue every maxilla and mating habit with wonder ... Ably translated by Moffatt, Buzz, Sting, Bite will foster affection for its winged, creeping, and crawling subjects, even among its most bug-shy readers.
A fun introduction to the world of insects ... we live on the planet of insects, and Sverdrup-Thygeson...brings it to life in this sharp, good-humored presentation ... Insects are a fascinating topic, and the author milks their peculiarities for all they are worth: molting and metamorphosis, communication through scent, tasting with feet, seeing with knees, and listening through ears in their mouths ... The author’s panoptic investigation keeps the narrative fully engaging as she alternates between anecdotes about specific insects...to richly telling slices of science ... A classy and brightly informative appreciation of insects—all you could ask for in a popular natural history.