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New book on Wasps of the World published

14/02/2024

Simon van Noort

(Research and Exhibitions Department, Iziko Museums of South Africa)

Wasps have been around since before the dinosaurs and are super successful organisms having proliferated over hundreds of millions of years to evolve, arguably, into the largest order of insects – the Hymenoptera (wasps, bees and ants). They comprise about 150 000 known species, but there are probably at least ten-times this number of unknown species. While the black-and-yellow insect with a constricted waist may be the most familiar, most wasps are tiny parasitoids that use other insects for food. They are critical ecosystem service providers from pollination to parasitism and predation. Their continued conservation and presence are essential for our own well-being, but rather scaringly, we know very little about the world’s incredibly rich species diversity, and even less about their ecological interactions and role in the functioning of our ecosystems.

Wasps of the World: A Guide to Every Family by Simon van Noort and Gavin Broad provides a breathtaking look at the diverse characteristics, habitats, and lifestyles of these extraordinary insects.

  • Features more than 250 stunning colour photos of numerous species
  • Profiles more than 100 families, with absorbing commentary detailing the range, habits, and notable features of members of each family
  • Every profile includes a distribution map and a table of essential facts about size, diet, reproduction, and habitats
  • Discusses the evolution and biology of wasps, exploring the vital role they play in supporting healthy ecosystems
  • Shows how scientific research is expanding our knowledge about wasps and their behaviour

Wasps of the World is available through the publisher’s website, Princeton University Press:

https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691238548/wasps-of-the-world

Simon van Noort is Curator of Entomology having conducted research on wasp systematics and evolution at Iziko since 1992.

https://www.iziko.org.za/researcher/simon-van-noort

http://www.figweb.org/Research/Laboratories/van_Noort/index.htm https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Simon_Noort

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