Witness the dazzling mid-air copulations of slugs, the transvestism of dung beetles, the "lovedarts" of snails, the pre- and post-nuptial snack-smearing strategies of millipedes and centipedes, the dance of the scorpions, and spiders that tie their mates down with "bridal veils" of silk. Splendidly illustrated from nature, this encyclopedia describes with rigour and grace some of the most complex and bizarre behaviours in the animal world.
Rod and Ken Preston-Mafham document and describe the whole fascinating gamut of behaviour of land-living invertebrates such as worms, snails and slugs, insects, spiders and many other small animals. They reveal routines of courting, mating, egg-laying, raising families, defending and attacking, hunting, and eating that exhibit trickery, violence, deception, and odd sexual practices that are generally rare throughout the animal kingdom.
The 200 color photographs from the authors' own archives, all taken in the wild, and 40 line drawings illustrate as many forms of behaviour as possible. An extensive bibliography captures a wealth of research on the workings of the natural world.
The Preston-Mafhams have spent years traveling the world in search of strange animals and behaviours and have produced a number of previous books on subjects ranging from grasshoppers to cacti. Rod Preston-Mafham is a professional biologist who took up writing full time after twenty years as a biology teacher. Ken Preston-Mafham is a top wildlife photographer. Together with Rod's wife Jean, the Preston-Mafhams run Premaphotos Wildlife, a photo library containing a wide range of mainly natural history subjects, which are used in publications throughout the world.