University of California Press, 1976. — 695 p.The family Sphecidae (digger wasps) includes nearly 8000 species belonging to 226 genera. These wasps have relatively little impact on man's economy, but they have proved exceedingly interesting from the point of view of comparative behavior. Digger wasps were leading actors in the classic essays of J. H. Fabre, begun more than a century ago, and they remain the objects of much current research. Although these are basically solitary wasps, more and more evidences of presociality are turning up, and there is general agreement that the bees had their origin among the Sphecidae. Hence the importance of a sound systematic background, not only in the form of workable keys but also of a careful survey of structure and apparent evolution. Furthermore, this must be done from a world point-of-view, since persons on all continents are engaged in studies of these insects. Bohart, Menke, and their collaborators have undertaken this formidable task, and they have produced a monograph that will not only earn the undying gratitude of students of comparative ethology but will serve as a model of excellence in scientific presentation.
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