3rd Edition

Insect Physiology and Biochemistry

ISBN 9781482247589
Published July 28, 2015 by CRC Press
690 Pages 261 B/W Illustrations

USD $115.00

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Book Description

Employing the clear, student-friendly style that made previous editions so popular, Insect Physiology and Biochemistry, Third Edition presents an engaging and authoritative guide to the latest findings in the dynamic field of insect physiology. The book supplies a comprehensive picture of the current state of the function, development, and reproduction of insects. Expanded and updated, this third edition continues to challenge conventional entomological wisdom with the latest research and analytical interpretations. It will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students and to working scientists in the biological sciences who need to possess a firm knowledge of the broad principles of insect physiology.

See What’s New in the Third Edition:

  • New chapters covering biological rhythms and insect symbioses
  • Adds references from the last several years to bring each chapter up to date
  • Provides new review and self-study questions that aid in distinguishing the most important information and concepts
  • References to websites where illustrative materials have been provided by scientists and contains approximately 2,600 citations
  • Twenty-four pages of color illustrations with new illustrations that emphasize genetic and molecular developments in insect biology
  • Update of the rapidly developing area of postembryonic development of insects, especially the role of the juvenile hormone in insect development

While this edition provides new information and significant updates, it also maintains all the features that made previous editions so popular, such as citations that enable you to get to the primary literature easily and understand the thinking, experimentation, and techniques that have enabled the current understanding of the physiology of insects. And clear writing with technical terms explained in the text where they occur. With more than 250 illustrations to help explain physiological concepts and important anatomical details, the book remains the most easily accessible guide to key concepts in the field.

Table of Contents

Chapter Preview
Genetic Control of Embryogenesis
Segmentation Genes
Homeotic Genes
Imaginal Discs
Review and Self-Study Questions
Chapter Preview
Relationships between Food Habits and Gut Structure and Function
Major Structural Regions of the Gut
Midgut Cell Types
Microvilli or Brush Border of Midgut Cells
Peritrophic Matrix
Digestive Enzymes
Hormonal Influence on Midgut
Countercurrent Circulation of Midgut Contents and Absorption of Digested Products
Transepithelial and Oxidation–Reduction Potential of the Gut
Gut pH
Hematophagy: Feeding on Vertebrate Blood
Digestive System Morphology and Physiology in Major Insect Orders
Insect Gut as a Potential Target for Population Management and Control of theSpread of Plant and Animal Disease Organisms
Review and Self-Study Questions
Importance of Balance in Nutritional Components
Ability of Insects to Self-Select Nutritional Components
Requirements for Specific Nutrients
Techniques and Dietary Terms Used in Insect Nutrition Studies
Criteria for Evaluating Nutritional Quality of a Diet
Measures of Food Intake and Utilization
Feeding Deterrents
Review and Self-Study Questions
Integument and Molting
Structure of the Integument
Molting and Formation of New Cuticle
Chemical Composition of Cuticle
Mineralization of Insect Cuticles
Capture of Atmospheric Water on Cuticular Surfaces
Review and Self-Study Questions
Hormones and Development
Historical Beginnings for the Concept of Hormonal Control of Moltingand Metamorphosis
Interplay of PTTH, Ecdysteroids, and Juvenile Hormone Control Development
Brain Neurosecretory Cells and Prothoracicotropic Hormone
Prothoracic Glands and Ecdysteroids
Corpora Allata and Juvenile Hormones
Mode of Action of Ecdysteroids at the Gene Level
Possible Timer Gene in the Molting Process
Ecdysone–Gene Interaction Ideas Stimulated Vertebrate Work
Review and Self-Study Questions
New! Biological Rhythms
Characteristics of Circadian and Photoperiodic Rhythms
Molecular Basis for the Circadian Clock
Evidence for Clock Genes in Many Insects
Examples of Circadian Functions in Insects
Photoperiodic Response: One Clock, Two Clocks, or Multiple Clocks?
Clock Models Based on Experimental Responses of Insects to VaryingLight/Dark Regimes
Review and Self-Study Questions
Diapause: A Survival Strategy
Phases of Diapause
Hormonal Control of Diapause
Role of Daily and Seasonal Biological Clocks in Diapause
Diapause and Gene Expression
Nutrient Accumulation for Diapause and the Storage and Conservation of Nutrientsduring Diapause
Molecular Studies of Diapause
Review and Self-Study Questions
Intermediary Metabolism
Introduction: Nutrient Stores—The Fat Body
Energy Demands for Insect Flight
Metabolic Stores
Hormones Controlling Carbohydrate Metabolism
Pathways of Metabolism Supporting Intense Muscular Activity, Such as Flight
Review and Self-Study Questions
Central Nervous System
Ventral Ganglia
Oxygen and Glucose Supply to the Brain and Ganglia
Hemolymph–Brain (CNS) Barrier
Neurons: Building Blocks of a Nervous System
Giant Axons in the Insect Central Nervous System
Nervous System Control of Behavior: Motor Programs
Neurosecretory Cells (NSC) and Neurosecretion Products from the CNS
Review and Self-Study Questions
Nerve Cell Responses to Stimuli
Physiological Basis for Neuronal Responses to Stimuli
Conduction of the Action Potential: Local Circuit Theory
Physiology and Biochemistry at the Synapse: Excitatory and Inhibitory PostsynapticPotentials
Acetylcholine-Mediated Synapses
Electric Transmission across Synapses
Neuromuscular Junctions
Review and Self-Study Questions
Basic Muscle Structure and Function
Synchronous and Asynchronous Muscles
Muscle Proteins and Physiology of Contraction
Muscles Involved in General Locomotion, Running, and Jumping
Sound Production: Tymbal and Stridulatory Muscle
Morphology and Physiology of Nonskeletal Muscle
Review and Self-Study Questions
Insect Flight
Thoracic Structure, Wing Hinges, and Muscle Groups Involved in Flight
Wing Strokes
Multiple Contractions from Each Volley of Nerve Impulses to Asynchronous Muscles
Flight in Dragonflies and Damselflies
Aerodynamics of Lift and Drag Forces Produced by Wings
Hovering Flight
Control of Pitch and Twisting of Wings
Power Output of Flight Muscles
Metabolic Activity of Wing Muscles
Flight Behavior
Review and Self-Study Questions
Sensory Systems
External and Internal Receptors Monitoring the Environment
General Functional Classification of Sensory Receptors
Review and Self-Study Questions
Compound Eye Structure
Dioptric Structures
Corneal Layering
Retinula Cells
Electrical Activity of Retinula Cells
Neural Connections in the Optic Lobe
Larval Eyes: Stemmata
Dermal Light Sense
Chemistry of Insect Vision
Visual Cascade
Regulation of the Visual Cascade
Color Vision
Vision Is Important in Behavior
Nutritional Need for Carotenoids in Insects
Detection of Plane-Polarized Light
Visual Acuity
Review and Self-Study Questions
Circulatory System
Introduction: Embryonic Development of the Circulatory System and Hemocytes
Dorsal Vessel: Heart and Aorta
Accessory Pulsatile Hearts
Rate of Circulation
Review and Self-Study Questions
Physical Barriers to Invasion
Cellular Immune Reactions
Recognition of Nonself
Synthesis of Antifungal and Antibacterial Peptides
Toll Pathway for Synthesis of Antimicrobial Peptides
IMD Pathway for Synthesis of Antimicrobial Peptides
C-Type Lectins
Ecology, Behavior, and Immunity
Cost of Defense
Coevolutionary Race between Parasitoid Escape Mechanisms and Host DefenseMechanisms
Autoimmune Consequences of Some Defense Reactions
Gender Differences in Immune Responses
Review and Self-Study Questions
Structure of the Tracheal System
Tracheal Supply to Tissues and Organs
Ventilation and Diffusion of Gases within the System
Discontinuous Gas Exchange
Water Balance during Flight
Gas Exchange in Aquatic Insects
Respiration in Endoparasitic Insects
Respiratory Pigments
Respiration in Eggs and Developing Embryos
Nonrespiratory Functions of the Tracheal System
Review and Self-Study Questions
Malpighian Tubules
Malpighian Tubule Cells
Formation of Primary Urine in Malpighian Tubules
Proton Pump as a Driving Mechanism for Urine Formation and Homeostasis
Selective Reabsorption in the Hindgut
Role of the Excretory System in Maintaining Homeostasis
Cryptonephridial Systems
Self-Study and Review Questions
Classes of Semiochemicals
Importance of the Olfactory Sense in Insects
Active Space Concept
Pheromones Classified according to Behavior Elicited
Pheromone Parsimony
Chemical Characteristics of Semiochemicals
Insect Receptors and the Detection Process
Information Coding and Processing
Hormonal Control of Pheromone Synthesis and Release
Biosynthesis of Pheromones
Geographical and Population Differences and Evolution of Pheromone Blends
Practical Applications of Pheromones
Review and Self-Study Questions
Female Reproductive System
Vitellogenins and Yolk Proteins
Sequestering of Vitellogenins and Yolk Proteins by Oocytes
Formation of the Vitelline Membrane
Gas Exchange in Eggs
Male Reproductive System
Gender Determination
Review and Self-Study Questions
New! Insect Symbioses
Symbioses among Leaf-Cutting Ants, Fungi, and Bacteria
Biology of Termites
Bark and Ambrosia Beetles and Their Symbionts
Buchnera in Aphids
Tsetse Fly Symbionts
Review and Self-Study Questions

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James L. Nation, Sr. Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of entomology at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He holds a B.S. degree in entomology from Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, and a Ph.D. in entomology from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. His special interest in entomology is the physiology and biochemistry of insects. Prior to retirement in 2003, he taught and conducted research at the University of Florida for 43 years. Research activities included work in insect excretion, pheromones, cuticular hydrocarbons, and insect nutrition. He served as an associate editor of Florida Entomologist from 1967 to 1969, as an editor of Journal of Chemical Ecology from 1994 to 2000, and as editor of Florida Entomologist from 2004 to 2010.


"This textbook introduces insect biochemistry and physiology for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students. It covers the basic anatomical and physiological systems and includes chapters such as "Embryogenesis," "Nutrition," "Hormones and Development," "Diapause," "Flight," "Immunity," and "Semiochemicals." This third edition (2nd ed., 2008; 1st ed., CH, Jul'02, 39-6414) includes two new chapters on topics of considerable recent research, "Biological Rhythms" and "Insect Symbioses." Although the text of the other 19 chapters from the second edition was not updated, Nation (emer., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville) updated each chapter's list of references. A "Review and Self-Study Questions" section was also added to each chapter. ... The volume is clearly written and well organized, facilitating its use as a reference work. Overall, it provides a comprehensive overview of the subject; it will be a useful starting point for students and others seeking to learn the basics of this diverse and broad field. Summing up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners."
—R. E. Lee Jr., Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA, for CHOICE, March 2016


"Insect Physiology and Biochemistry provides an excellent introduction of the subjects for graduate students and advanced undergraduates for whom it is written and will serve as a primer for the non specialist eager to employ insects as their research models. The text is clear, well arranged, and a pleasure to read. It presents the broad concepts and focuses on contemporary references…In all, this textbook is an impressive work, emblematic of Nation’s ability to present clearly the salient highlights of insect physiology and biochemistry. Its wide adoption as a teaching text is assured."
—William S. Bowers, The University of Arizona, USA Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol. 28, No. 12

"… This 2nd edition textbook does a nice job of presenting information to students. The 2nd edition of course has been updated. Each chapter has received some updating with most noticeable improvements to the figures. The font has not changed but a better paper has been used to make the text and figures easier to read. The front cover might even be more visually appealing to some, although the content is what is important. In addition several chapters have been added to improve the 2nd edition. One is on diapauses and one about immunity. These were added in response to suggestions made by reviewers of the first edition and are important aspects to include in a text on insect physiology. Studies on diapauses have occurred for quite some time, but more recent insights into the molecular mechanisms behind diapause were also included. Insect immunity is an area of insect physiology that is currently receiving a considerable amount of research attention. This chapter provides students with an overview of this important topic. …Other changes that have improved the second edition are the expansion of chapters on vision and flight. The new edition has been improved with the addition of some color plates placed in the middle of the book. … I would recommend this textbook to all students, faculty, and other scholars studying insects. The new edition is improved and covers almost every aspect of insect physiology. Every student of entomology should have a course in insect physiology and up to date textbooks are required to help teach these courses. James Nation has taught insect physiology and other courses for quite some time and has incorporated that knowledge into this textbook. The references at the end of each chapter are invaluable to new students and old who want to find out more information about certain topics. As more biologists become interested in insects as more genomes are sequenced they will want to know more about how the genes they are studying fit into the physiology and biochemistry of insects in general. Control measures based more on the specifics of insect physiology will also be developed in the future and background information will be required to exploit these technologies. This textbook will provide that background information."
—Russell Jurenka, Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, Ames, in Florida Entomologist

"I found the book Insect Physiology and Biochemistry, Second Edition by James L. Nation extremely useful…. The author has done an excellent job of covering all major topics from a physiological and biochemical point of view, seeking to incorporate the latest in the field of knowledge. In my opinion, the primary strength of the current edition is the comprehensive yet concise manner in which it has dealt with various topics in insect physiology with a biochemical and in some cases a molecular perspective."
—Dr. N. Krishnan, Dept. of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University