The Ecology of Ectoparasitic Insects

by A. G. Marshall. xvi + 459 pages. Academic Press Inc. (London) Ltd., 24–28 Oval Road, London. 1981. £33.80/U.S. $69.50

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  • Department of Tropical Public Health Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

This scholarly work synthesizes available information on the factors that regulate host range and abundance of ectoparasitic insects. Ectoparasites rarely multiply to the point of exhausting their host's resources, but the physiological basis for this enigma has eluded resolution. Perhaps no unified answer will be forthcoming and Marshall offers none. Instead, he concludes with a multitude of questions that promise much grist for the future research mill. This text is designed for advanced students of parasite ecology and entomology. Others, who rapidly will be overwhelmed by the mass of detail, can scan the book's contents by reading the 1- or 2-page synopses that lead each of the 11 chapters.

Entomology or parasitology texts generally are organized vertically. They deal with taxa, systematically, one by one. Marshall's text, in contrast, takes a series of horizontal cuts across taxa. Thus, he synthesizes information around dozens of closely defined topics. Forexample the chapter