Insect Escape Artists

Book review in American Scientist
May-June, 2012

How Not to Be Eaten: The Insects Fight Back. Gilbert Waldbauer. xiv + 221 pp. University of California Press, 2012. $27.95.

Rarely does one have reason to compare a moth and a croquet ball, but entomologist Gilbert Waldbauer finds the parallel. In an anecdote in How Not to Be Eaten, he recalls searching for a red-banded ball that rolled into the rough during a game. When he finally located it, he realized it had been in plain sight all along—but with its colorful stripe obscured. By searching for red, he had overlooked his target. The same thing may happen to birds that chase underwing moths (Catocala), Waldbauer writes.

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