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Insects truly are the ugly ducklings of the natural world. How does something as beautiful as a butterfly begin life as little more than a fancy maggot? Or something as elegant and delicate as a lacewing hatch like a minuscule escapee from a horror movie? What are the circumstances that require a creature to transform from one body shape into another, a shape that is often so utterly different from the first that you would be forgiven for thinking they were completely unrelated organisms?
This book illustrates some of the dramatic transformations insects undergo in their life cycles and explores why evolution has arrived at these remarkable solutions to survival. The aim of the book is to show remarkable transformations, most of which have never before been seen.
The book is divided into two main sections:
-Insects that undergo partial metamorphosis, such as dragonflies, grasshoppers, and bugs. Here the young resemble the adult, changing gradually with each molt.
-Insects that experience a complete metamorphosis such as butterflies, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, ants, and flies. In these species, the young bear no resemblance to the adult in appearance, habitat, or diet, until they pupate.
Rupert Soskin's unique project to photograph a range of selected species at each stage of development--from egg to larva to pupa and, finally, fully formed adult--sets a new precedent for nature photography.