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Handbook of Vegetable Pests

Handbook of Vegetable Pests
John L. Capinera
Academic Press
Publication Date: 

cloth, 729 p., $150

This definitive text is a model for the practical application of scientific knowledge to farming and horticulture. It is difficult to imagine a better-written and organized survey of knowledge related to pests. The author, professor and chairman of the department of entomology and nematology at the University of Florida, draws upon the work of decades, indeed centuries, on the harm done to food crops by insects and other unwelcome invertebrates. The focus is on North American crops, but insightful analogies with problems elsewhere in the world bring additional understanding.

Introductory sections cover major vegetable crops, basic entomology and pest management philosophy. Pest identification is taken up next, organized by groups in the animal kingdom and by groups of vegetables. Then comes the heart of this invaluable and well-written treatise, the systematic exposition of knowledge of each family, genus and species of pests. Detailed descriptions of the life stages of each villainous creature are supplemented by splendid illustrations, including several pages of color photographs. While this book is written for the professional, the intelligent inquirer of any level of curiosity will be by turns informed and astonished.

Included in this handbook are appendices, which present keys to selected groups of pests; references to other sources of information (including national, state, and provincial agencies and repostories); and Web sites. A helpful cross-referenced appendix of vegetable plant names is organized by scientific name, common name and family name. A glossary, compilation of references and index round out a volume certain to prove unsurpassed as a tool to access information needed to protect our continent's food supply.

— John F. Swenson, Volunteer, Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden