Crickets and Katydids, Concerts and Solos

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9780674175778: Crickets and Katydids, Concerts and Solos
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From Mount Washington to the salt marshes of Cape Cod, a chorus of insects chirrups and peeps and rustles away the golden hours of summer and fall. In "Crickets and Katydids", Vincent G. Dethier invites readers to share in the pleasure offered by these tiny musicians in our midst. A companion volume to G.W. Pierce's 1948 "Songs of insects", this book introduces amateur naturalists and lovers of nature to some of the more common singing crickets, locusts, and grasshoppers of the northeastern United States. Dethier emphasizes the "world" of these insects and their place in it. He presents a glimpse of the ecology of the singing Orthoptera, the conditions under which they are studied, and the people who have studied them. For those who wish to delve more deeply into the classification, structure, and habits of particular species, Dethier includes keys for identification of insects and their songs, as well as a table of seasonal distribution.

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Review:

Richly written, elegantly organized, and beautifully illustrated with Abigail Rorer's graceful line drawings, this charming reminiscence succeeds on every level. It illuminates the habits of New England's 40 or so orthopteran insects and teaches us to appreciate their adaptations and variation. It reminds us to attend to the world around us; to listen to its jubilant songs, breathe in the 'winey evanescence' of fallen apples and savor the caress of cool air flowing from the fringes of a shady hardwood forest. It recalls the pleasures of being young, of finding new facts and seeing new patterns in the mosaic of nature, and captures the ineffable sensations of a fine New England summer. (John R. Alden Smithsonian Magazine)

This book is the product of Vincent Dethier's experiences studying the natural history and singing behavior of crickets and katydids. The book chronicles the emergence of orthopteran species over the summer season and their contributions to the chorus in fields and woods. The details of these insects' lives are fascinating, but I was even more impressed with the true theme of the book: the making of a scientist...This is a beautifully written natural history book. (Elizabeth Braker Ecology)

[This book] can be enjoyed by anyone with even a passing interest in crickets and their repertoires. Dethier's writing is beautiful, almost poetic. (Jonathan Beard New Scientist)

From Library Journal:

Known for his ability to present complex scientific information clearly and entertainingly, Dethier introduces crickets, katydids, and grasshoppers (locusts), whose sounds, though familiar, are largely ignored by all but specialists. He writes of his experiences in the late 1930s, when as a graduate student he served as field assistant to the late George W. Pierce, famous for his work on insect sound production and detection. Dethier takes us on an informative and entertaining summer's tour of insects in the Franklin, New Hampshire area and acquaints us with their habits and songs. Not intended as an exhaustive treatment or field guide, his book does list important references of the past century and gives keys to species and their songs. Rorer's charming black-and-white drawings adorn the text. Admirers of Dethier's previous works, e.g., To Know a Fly (1962), will welcome his latest effort.
- Annette Aiello, Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst., Panama
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Vincent G. Dethier; A.A. Ammons, foreword
Published by Harvard University Press (1992)
ISBN 10: 0674175778 ISBN 13: 9780674175778
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Vincent G. Dethier
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Dethier, Vincent G.
Published by Harvard University Press (1992)
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