Fear and fascination set wasps apart from other insects. Despite their iconic form and distinctive colours, they are surrounded by myth and misunderstanding. Often portrayed in cartoon-like stereotypes bordering on sad parody, wasps have an unwelcome and undeserved reputation for aggressiveness bordering on vindictive spite. This mistrust is deep-seated in a human history that has awarded commercial and spiritual value to other insects, such as bees, but has failed to recognise any worth in wasps.
Leading entomologist Richard Jones redresses the balance in this enlightening and entertaining guide to the natural and cultural history of these powerful carnivores. Jones delves into their complex nesting and colony behaviour, their unique caste system and their major role at the centre of many food webs.