Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them
by David MacNeal.
St. Martin’s Press, 2017 ($25.99)
Review from Scientific American:
During the steamy summer months many people dream of a world without mosquitoes, ants and other pesky bugs. But remove all the insects, which comprise about 75 percent of species in the animal kingdom, and the world as we know it could not exist. Insects bind together nearly every ecosystem by pollinating 80 percent of food plants and recycling dead organic matter. Science writer MacNeal travels the globe documenting the science and culture of all things “bug.” There is the painstaking work of taxonomists who continue to catalogue the earth’s estimated 10 quintillion insects; the Greek island beekeepers; and the Zika-fighting mosquitoes in Brazil. The world is surprisingly full of insect lovers, one of whom tells MacNeal that “bugs are more interesting than people.” Interesting or not, insects provide “beneficial, multibillion-dollar services keeping life on this planet humming along.”