In Endless Forms: The Secret World of Wasps, the celebrated British entomologist and modern-day wasp whisperer Seirian Sumner invites readers on a revelatory as well as highly entertaining journey to discover the beauty, vast diversity and critical functions of the "most enigmatic of insects." Throughout history, wasps have been misunderstood and compared unfavorably to their cuter cousins, bees. Alert to society's cultural fear of wasps and general lack of understanding of their ecological contributions, Sumner's debut sets out to rehabilitate these ancient insects to their rightful place as admired and valuable members of the insect kingdom.
Sumner is an esteemed Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and a behavioral ecologist at University College London. She has spent more than two decades studying wasps across the globe. Blending scientific knowledge and passion for her subject with a captivating storytelling style, the author highlights the significance of wasps as the ancestral forebears of bees and ants, shares her enchantment with their complex social lives and builds a compelling case for their ecological importance as nature's essential pest controllers and pollinators. Even the wasp's dreaded sting, referred to by the 19th-century naturalist Jean-Henri Fabre as "mother's stiletto," offers promising value to medical researchers who are experimenting with wasp venom as a possible cancer treatment tool.
Endless Forms is a labor of love, designed to alter fundamentally the narrative surrounding wasps, presenting budding naturalists and amateur entomologists with a transformative lens through which to appreciate the "gangsters of the insect world." --Shahina Piyarali, reviewer