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Insect Natural History

Nature volume 162, pages 56 (03 July 1948) | Download Citation



AS a medium for the study of natural history the insects have no equals. The number and variety of their species and the diversity of their habits are such that they afford unrivalled opportunities for the collector, the photographer or the mere observer. The appearance of a general introduction to the natural history of insects in Great Britain prompts some reflexions on the aims and purposes of the amateur entomologist. For British entomology has been built up in the past century and a half by the amateur. To-day there are so many professional openings in entomology that the boy with a consuming interest in insects will probably end by joining the profession. Yet the need for amateur entomology is greater than it ever was. For it is common knowledge that many students now graduate into entomology from the laboratory and the lecture room, with no real feeling for the insect as it exists in the field. It is a curious paradox that it is an ignorant use of insecticides of ever-increasing potency which is forcing the applied entomologist to reflect more and more closely upon the way in which insects uve among themselves. It is the avowed purpose of the volumes in the New Naturalist Series to bridge the gap between the scientific worker and the lover of Nature ; in the sphere of entomology it is the scientific worker who stands in need of education, at least as much as does the naturalist.

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