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Hymenoptera and Conservation



Hymenoptera and Conservation

T. R. New

ISBN: 978-1-118-38132-8 July 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 232 Pages

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Hymenoptera, the bees, wasps and ant, are one of the largest insect orders, and have massive ecological importance as pollinators and as predators or parasitoids of other insects. These roles have brought them forcefully to human notice , as governors of some key ecological services that strongly influence human food supply. Recent declines of pollinators and introductions of alien pests or biological control agents are only part of the current concerns for conservation of Hymenoptera, and of the interactions in which they participate in almost all terrestrial ecosystems. Both pests and beneficial species abound within the order, sometimes closely related within the same families. Many taxa are both difficult to identify, and very poorly known. This global overview, the first such account for the whole of the Hymenoptera, discusses a broad range of themes to introduce the insects and their conservation roles and needs, and how their wellbeing may be approached. The book is intended as a source of information for research workers, students, conservation managers and naturalists as an introduction to the importance of this dominant insect order.

Preface vii

Acknowledgements xii

1 Introducing Hymenoptera and their Conservation 1

Perspective 1

Classification and diversity 1

Importance for conservation 14

Social life and conservation 24

2 Alien Hymenoptera in Classical Biological Control 28

Introducing a dilemma 28

Conservation concerns 28

3 The Junction of Biological Control and Conservation: Conservation Biological Control and Cultural Control 41

4 Introduced Bees: Threats or Benefits? 51

5 Social Wasps and Ants as Aliens 63

Social wasps 63

Ants 68

Current perspective 79

6 Pollinator Declines 82

Introducing the concerns 82

Threats to pollinators 92

Pathogens and parasites 93

Pesticides 97

Pollution 99

7 Levels of Conservation Concern and the Shortcomings of Current Practice 100

Foci for conservation 100

Species focus 104

Biotope and habitat focus 122

8 Habitat Parameters and Manipulation 138

Defining and assessing habitats in the landscape 138

Habitat manipulations for conservation 141

Natural and agricultural environments 141

Urban environments 147

Practical conservation 150

9 Species Case Histories 168

Franklin’s bumblebee (Bombus franklini) 170

The great yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) 170

Wallace’s bee (Chalicodoma pluto) 173

Neopasiphae simplicior in Western Australia 174

The antennal-waving wasp (Tachysphex pechumani) 174

The dinosaur ant (Nothomyrmecia macrops) 175

The red-barbed ant (Formica rufi barbis) in Britain 177

10 Assessing Conservation Progress and Priorities for the Future 179

Introduction: The basic need 179

Monitoring 180

The milieux of concern 185

References 191

Index 214

“I highly recommend Hymenoptera and Conservationto anybody who works with Hymenoptera (including invasive species, biological control and honeybees) or in general conservation, and to anyone with an interest in entomology.”  (Austral Ecology, 10 October 2014)

“Overall, this is an interesting and worthwhile book, which should stimulate more interest in this important order of insects.”  (British Ecological Society, 1 April 2013)

“The highly comprehensive, well-organized book presents an easy-to-understand overview of the challenges and goals associated with conservation efforts.  Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Students of all levels, researchers/faculty, and professionals/practitioners.”  (Choice, 1 April 2013)

“In Hymenoptera and Conservation New captures the reader, offering a concise chronology of past interventions and, in doing so, provides lessons on which future conservation strategies can be built. For this reason, I recommend this book to anyone interested in a better understanding of the role of insects in conservation as well as the full implications of intervention.”  (Fauna & Flora International, 1 January 2013)