Insect Defenses

Adaptive Mechanisms and Strategies of Prey and Predators

Edited by David L. Evans & Justin O. Schmidt

Series: SUNY series on Animal Behavior
Paperback : 9780791406168, 482 pages, July 1990
Hardcover : 9780887068966, 482 pages, July 1990

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Table of contents

List of Figures
List of Tables

Part 1. Evolution of Major Defensive Ensembles

Justin O. Schmidt
1. The Evolution of Cryptic Coloration
Malcolm Edmunds
2. The Evolution of Aposematism
Tim Guilford
3. Sexual Selection and Predation: Balancing Reproductive and Survival Needs
Scott K. Sakaluk

Part 2. Predatory Strategies and Tactics

David L. Evans
4. Prey Selection in Web-Building Spiders and Evolution of Prey Defenses
George W. Uetz
5. Predator-Prey Interactions, Informational Complexity, and the Origins of Intelligence
Michael H. Robinson
6. Avian Predatory Behavior and Prey Distribution
Werner Schuler

Part 3. Predation Prevention: Avoidance and Escape Behaviors

David L. Evans
7. Avoiding the Hunt: Primary Defenses of Lepidopteran Caterpillars
Robert C. Lederhouse
8. Phenology as a Defense: A Time to Die, A Time to Live
David L. Evans
9. The Sensory Ecology of Moths and Bats: Global Lessons in Staying Alive
James H. Fullard

Part 4. Predation Prevention: Chemical and Behavioral Counterattack Introduction
Justin O. Schmidt
10. Startle as an Anti-Predator Mechanism, with Special Reference to the Underwing Moths, (Catocala)
Theodore D. Sargent
11. Collective Security: Aggregation by Insects as a Defense
Kevina Vulinec
12. Allomones: Chemicals for Defense
Douglas W. Whitman, Murray S. Blum, David W. Alsop
13. Recycling Plant Natural Products for Insect Defense
M. Deane Bowers
14. Hymenopteran Venoms: Striving Toward the Ultimate Defense Against Vertebrates
Justin O. Schmidt
15. Holding the Fort: Colony Defense in Some Primitively Social Wasps
Christopher K. Starr

List of Contributors
Subject Index
Author Index


This work takes a fresh, modern approach to investigate and explain the predator and prey relationships of insects and spiders, the major terrestrial fauna on earth. Devoted to broad and in-depth analysis of arthropod defenses against predators, the book's approach is both experimentally and theoretically based with major emphasis on evolution, predator strategies and tactics, and prey defensive adaptations and behaviors.

The authors explain such topics as cryptic and aposematic coloration, the conflict between sexual and survival needs, web spider prey choice and evolution of prey counter defenses, predator-prey interactions and the origins of intelligence, bird predatory tactics, and caterpillar defense strategies. Also examined is the use of timing for fitness and survival, evolutionary gamesmanship in the predatory bat-moth relationship, colony defense by aper wasps, startle as a defense by moths, aggregation as a defense, chemicals as defenses, plant chemicals as defenses, and venoms as defenses. The authors illustrate each topic with numerous specific well-documented examples presented in a clear, readable style.

David L. Evans is a naturalist at Beaverbrook Reservation in Belmont, Massachusetts. Justin O. Schmidt is a biologist at the Southwestern Biological Institute in Tucson, Arizona.