Monarch butterflies are one of nature's most recognizable creatures, known for their bright colors and epic annual migration from the United States and Canada to Mexico. Yet there is much more to the monarch than its distinctive presence and mythic journeying. In Monarchs and Milkweed, Anurag Agrawal presents a vivid investigation into how the monarch butterfly has evolved closely alongside the milkweed—a toxic plant named for the sticky white substance emitted when its leaves are damaged—and how this inextricable and intimate relationship has been like an arms race over the millennia, a battle of exploitation and defense between two fascinating species. The monarch life cycle begins each spring when it deposits eggs on milkweed leaves. But this dependency of monarchs on milkweeds as food is not reciprocated, and milkweeds do all they can to poison or thwart the young monarchs. Agrawal delves into major scientific discoveries, including his own pioneering research, and traces how plant poisons have not only shaped monarch-milkweed interactions but have also been culturally important for centuries. Agrawal presents current ideas regarding the recent decline in monarch populations, including habitat destruction, increased winter storms, and lack of milkweed—the last one a theory that the author rejects. He evaluates the current sustainability of monarchs and reveals a novel explanation for their plummeting numbers. Lavishly illustrated with more than eighty color photos and images, Monarchs and Milkweed takes readers on an unforgettable exploration of one of nature's most important and sophisticated evolutionary relationships.
Monarch butterflies are one of nature's most recognizable creatures, known for their bright colors and epic annual migration from the United States and Canada to Mexico. Yet there is much more to the monarch than its distinctive presence and mythic journeying. In Monarchs and Milkweed, Anurag Agrawal presents a vivid investigation into how the monarch butterfly has evolved closely alongside the milkweed--a toxic plant named for the sticky white substance emitted when its leaves are damaged--and how this inextricable and intimate relationship has been like an arms race over the millennia, a battle of exploitation and defense between two fascinating species. The monarch life cycle begins each spring when it deposits eggs on milkweed leaves. But this dependency of monarchs on milkweeds as food is not reciprocated, and milkweeds do all they can to poison or thwart the young monarchs. Agrawal delves into major scientific discoveries, including his own pioneering research, and traces how plant poisons have not only shaped monarch-milkweed interactions but have also been culturally important for centuries. Agrawal presents current ideas regarding the recent decline in monarch populations, including habitat destruction, increased winter storms, and lack of milkweed--the last one a theory that the author rejects. He evaluates the current sustainability of monarchs and reveals a novel explanation for their plummeting numbers. Lavishly illustrated with more than eighty color photos and images, Monarchs and Milkweed takes readers on an unforgettable exploration of one of nature's most important and sophisticated evolutionary relationships.
Author: Jane Hurwitz
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2018-04-06
An indispensable and lavishly illustrated guide to creating a garden that attracts and sustains butterflies Butterfly gardening creates habitats that support butterflies, connecting us with some of the most beautiful creatures in the natural world and bringing new levels of excitement and joy to gardening. In this engaging and accessible guide, lavishly illustrated with more than two hundred color photographs and maps, accomplished butterfly gardener Jane Hurwitz presents essential information on how to choose and cultivate plants that will attract a range of butterflies to your garden and help sustain all the stages of their life cycles. An indispensable resource for aspiring and experienced butterfly gardeners alike, Butterfly Gardening is the most gardener-friendly source on the subject, covering all the practical details needed to create a vibrant garden habitat that fosters butterflies. It tells you which plants support which butterflies, depending on where you live; it describes what different butterflies require in the garden over the course of their lives; and it shows you how to become a butterfly watcher as well as a butterfly gardener. While predominantly recommending regionally native plants, the book includes information on non-native plants. It also features informative interviews with experienced butterfly gardeners from across the United States. These gardeners share a wealth of information on plants and practices to draw butterflies to all kinds of gardens--from small suburban gardens to community plots and larger expanses. Whether you are a gardener who wants to see more butterflies in your garden, a butterfly enthusiast who wants to bring that passion to the garden, or someone who simply wants to make their garden or yard friendlier to Monarchs or other butterflies, this is a must-have guide. An essential guide for aspiring and experienced butterfly gardeners Encourages readers to rethink gardening choices to support butterflies and other pollinators in their gardens and communities Introduces gardeners to butterfly watching Includes regional lists of plant species that are time-proven to help sustain butterflies and their caterpillars Features informative interviews with expert butterfly gardeners from across the United States
Insects display a staggering diversity of mating and social behaviours. Studying these systems provides insights into a wide range of evolutionary and behavioural questions, such as the evolution of sex, sexual selection, sexual conflict, and parental care. This edited volume provides an authoritative update of the landmark book in the field, The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems (Thornhill and Alcock, 1983), which had such a huge impact in shaping adaptationist approaches to the study of animal behaviour and influencing the study of the evolution of reproductive behaviour far beyond the taxonomic remit of insects. This accessible new volume brings the empirical and conceptual scope of the original book fully up to date, incorporating the wealth of new knowledge and research of the last 30 years. It explores the evolution of complex forms of sex determination in insects, and the role of sexual selection in shaping the evolution of mating systems. Selection arising via male contest competition and female choice (both before and after copulation) are discussed, as are the roles of parasites and pathogens in mediating the strength of sexual selection, and the role that parental care plays in successful reproduction. The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems is suitable for both graduate students and researchers interested in insect mating systems or behaviour from an evolutionary, genetical, physiological, or ecological perspective. Due to its interdisciplinary and concept-driven approach, it will also be of relevance and use to a broad audience of evolutionary biologists.
Author: Karen S. Oberhauser
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Release Date: 2015-05-26
Monarch butterflies are among the most popular insect species in the world and are an icon for conservation groups and environmental education programs. Monarch caterpillars and adults are easily recognizable as welcome visitors to gardens in North America and beyond, and their spectacular migration in eastern North America (from breeding locations in Canada and the United States to overwintering sites in Mexico) has captured the imagination of the public. Monarch migration, behavior, and chemical ecology have been studied for decades. Yet many aspects of monarch biology have come to light in only the past few years. These aspects include questions regarding large-scale trends in monarch population sizes, monarch interactions with pathogens and insect predators, and monarch molecular genetics and large-scale evolution. A growing number of current research findings build on the observations of citizen scientists, who monitor monarch migration, reproduction, survival, and disease. Monarchs face new threats from humans as they navigate a changing landscape marked by deforestation, pesticides, genetically modified crops, and a changing climate, all of which place the future of monarchs and their amazing migration in peril. To meet the demand for a timely synthesis of monarch biology, conservation and outreach, Monarchs in a Changing World summarizes recent developments in scientific research, highlights challenges and responses to threats to monarch conservation, and showcases the many ways that monarchs are used in citizen science programs, outreach, and education. It examines issues pertaining to the eastern and western North American migratory populations, as well as to monarchs in South America, the Pacific and Caribbean Islands, and Europe. The target audience includes entomologists, population biologists, conservation policymakers, and K–12 teachers.
Author: Matt Warnock Turner
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2010-01-01
With some 6,000 species of plants, Texas has extraordinary botanical wealth and diversity. Learning to identify plants is the first step in understanding their vital role in nature, and many field guides have been published for that purpose. But to fully appreciate how Texas's native plants have sustained people and animals from prehistoric times to the present, you need Remarkable Plants of Texas. In this intriguing book, Matt Warnock Turner explores the little-known facts—be they archaeological, historical, material, medicinal, culinary, or cultural—behind our familiar botanical landscape. In sixty-five entries that cover over eighty of our most common native plants from trees, shrubs, and wildflowers to grasses, cacti, vines, and aquatics, he traces our vast array of connections with plants. Turner looks at how people have used plants for food, shelter, medicine, and economic subsistence; how plants have figured in the historical record and in Texas folklore; how plants nourish wildlife; and how some plants have unusual ecological or biological characteristics. Illustrated with over one hundred color photos and organized for easy reference, Remarkable Plants of Texas can function as a guide to individual species as well as an enjoyable natural history of our most fascinating native plants.
Author: R. D. Bartlett
Publisher: UNM Press
Release Date: 2013-10-01
New Mexico is home to 165 species and subspecies of snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, toads, and salamanders. Some are ubiquitous and others are localized. If you want basic and reliable information on the lizard in your backyard or the snake you encountered on a hike in the mountains, this handy field guide is invaluable. Both complete and concise, it includes species accounts, maps, photographs, and black-and-white drawings to help you identify the species you have encountered. In addition to basic taxonomy and a glossary, the authors have included suggestions on field protocol and legalities, as well as useful information about the various herpetofauna habitats in the state.
An introduction to the life cycle of monarch butterflies depicts every stage while instructing youngsters on how to attract and raise their own butterflies, and explains how released butterflies migrate to resume the next cycle.
Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time with no pollination and no fruit. The fruitless fall nearly became a reality when, in 2007, beekeepers watched thirty billion bees mysteriously die. And they continue to disappear. The remaining pollinators, essential to the cultivation of a third of American crops, are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural catastrophe. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take the abundance of our Earth for granted. A new afterword by the author tracks the most recent developments in this ongoing crisis.
Author: Vincent H. Resh
Publisher: Academic Press
Release Date: 2009-07-22
Awarded Best Reference by the New York Public Library (2004), Outstanding Academic Title by CHOICE (2003), and AAP/PSP 2003 Best Single Volume Reference/Sciences by Association of American Publishers' Professional Scholarly Publishing Division, the first edition of Encyclopedia of Insects was acclaimed as the most comprehensive work devoted to insects. Covering all aspects of insect anatomy, physiology, evolution, behavior, reproduction, ecology, and disease, as well as issues of exploitation, conservation, and management, this book sets the standard in entomology. The second edition of this reference will continue the tradition by providing the most comprehensive, useful, and up-to-date resource for professionals. Expanded sections in forensic entomology, biotechnology and Drosphila, reflect the full update of over 300 topics. Articles contributed by over 260 high profile and internationally recognized entomologists provide definitive facts regarding all insects from ants, beetles, and butterflies to yellow jackets, zoraptera, and zygentoma. * 66% NEW and revised content by over 200 international experts * New chapters on Bedbugs, Ekbom Syndrome, Human History, Genomics, Vinegaroons * Expanded sections on insect-human interactions, genomics, biotechnology, and ecology * Each of the 273 articles updated to reflect the advances which have taken place in entomology research since the previous edition * Features 1,000 full-color photographs, figures and tables * A full glossary, 1,700 cross-references, 3,000 bibliographic entries, and online access save research time * Updated with online access
In this eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson describes why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards. Through engaging anecdotes and inspired advice, profiles of home gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturalists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces. Detailed chapters address planting for wildlife by choosing native species; providing habitats that shelter baby animals, as well as birds, bees, and butterflies; creating safe zones in the garden; cohabiting with creatures often regarded as pests; letting nature be your garden designer; and encouraging natural processes and evolution in the garden. The Humane Gardener fills a unique niche in describing simple principles for both attracting wildlife and peacefully resolving conflicts with all the creatures that share our world.