Medical insects and arachnids

Medical insects and arachnids

Parasitology 84 populations, using HMI-9 and HMI- I93 media, respectively. The results obtained to date indicate that the system would also be appli...

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populations, using HMI-9 and HMI- I93 media, respectively. The results obtained to date indicate that the system would also be applicable to these species, although the yellowish colour of colorimetrtc reaction in T. b. brucei populations was somewhat less distinct (amber). Acknowledgements The authors wish ta thank A.R. Gray for his critical review of the manuscript, and JR. Wando for his technical assistance. This is ILfWD publication No. 1204. References I Hlrumi. H.. Doyle. 1.1.and Hirumi, K. (1977) j Science196,99%994 2 Evans, D.A. (I 978) in Methods m Cultjvatmg

Medical Insects and Arachnids edited by Richard P. Lone and Roger W. Crosskey, Chapman & Hali, 1993. f85.00 (xv + 723 pages) lS5N 0 4 I2 40000 6 Few young biologists choose medical entomology as a speciality. Not only is the subject generally poorly taught, but it also suffers from a Batesian image of Victorian times with practitioners who wear funny hats and prowl through forests with a net on a stick. The few who opt for medical entomology have no bandwagon to carry them to the heights of tropical medicine nor do they really need to study Swedish in case they are ever invited to Stockholm to receive a Nobel Prize. They will have to be enthusiasts like each of the authors of the chapters in this splendid new book with the unusual title Medical insects and Arachnids. It has a fine pedigree beginning during the Second World War with Smart’s Handbook for the Identification of Insects followed, in of Medical Importance 1973, by Insects ond Other Arthropods of Medical lrnportonce edited by K.G.V. Smith. Lane and Crosskey’s latest offering is completely rewritten and surpasses its predecessors. All medically important insects and arachnids are dealt with in an organized way which shows tight editing and an unusual degree of discipline and compliance by contributors. As expected in a book from the Natural History Museum, a large part of each chapter deals with classification and identifi-

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I.R., eds). pp 55-88, Academic Press Btun, d. and Jenni, L. (I 987) in Methods for Poraslte CuItrvation (Taylor. A.E.R and Baker, I.R., eds), pp 94-l I?. Academic Press Gray, M.A.. Hlrumi, H. and Gardener, P.R. (1987) an Methods for Porostte Cultivation Taylor, A.&R and Baker, J.R., eds), pp I I 8-I 52, Academic Press Baltz,T.etol.(l985)EMBOJ.4, 1273-1277 Duszenko, M. et al. (1985) j. Exp. Med. 162, 1256-1263 Hirumi, H. and Hirumi. K. (I 989) J. Parosrtoi. 75,985-989 Hiruml, H. and Hltumi, K. (199 I) farasrtoiogy 102,223-236 Zweygarth, E., Gray, M.A. and Kamlnsky, R ( I99.lj Trap. Med. Porasrtol. 42, 4548 Hlrumi, H. et ol. (l99l)J. Protozooi Ues. I, I-12 Hlrumi, H.. Hirumi, K. and Peregrine, A.S. (I 993)J. Protozool. Res. 3. 52-62



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cation with no apologies offered. This is timely as we feel the first twinges of the birth pangs of a renaissance in taxonomy following many recent reports on the need to know more about the animals with which we share this planet. Whether traditionalists like it or not, molecular biology is going to make the same impact on medical entomology as it has on other biological disciplines. There may not be much evidence of this at the moment perhaps because (I) some entomologists are not moving with the times and (2) few molecular biologists know anything about ‘medical’ insects. How many of them know why the antennae of male and female mosquitoes are so different, how many larval instars does a flea have, or if male sandflies take bloodmeals? They should know that sibling species are not brothers and sisters. Above all, these are the workers who need this book - although every medical entomologist will find many things of interest between its covers. After classification, each chapter deals with biology, medical importance, control and, finally, collection, preservation and rearing. The new taxonomy will need living material and the next time this book appears under another title, rearing and colonization should not be relegated to a paragraph or two at the end of each chapter. Furthermore, preservation in the future will not be solely by pinning or pickling. It will be in cryobanks. Cryopresetved specimens can be mounted for classical taxonomy (far more easily than dried or pickled specimens), and are of immense value to molecular biologists.

2x205-2 13 Zinsstag, Parosrtol. 14 Brun, R.

Today, vol. IO, no. 2, I 994

IO 1,. Rerun, R and Gessler, M. (I 99 I) Res. 77, 33-38 and Kunz, C. (I 989) Acta Trap. 46,

361-368 15 Brun, R. and Rab, S. (1991) Porasltol. Res. 77, 341-345 16 Kaminsky, R. and Zweygarth. E. (1989) Antimlcrob. Agents Cbemother. 33, 88 l-885 17 Kaminsky, R, Chuma, F. and Zweygarth, E. (I 989) Exp. Porasitol. 69. 28 l-289 I8 Ross, C.A. and Taylor, A.M. (I 990) Purusitol. I Res. 76,326-33 I9 Vickerman, K. (I 97 I) in Ecology and PhysiaIogy of Parasrtes (Fallis, A.M., ed.), pp 58-91, Unlverslty of Toronto Press A-2 jlULU~~ Vf17111r nwmt ’’ uIIu ore at tionol Laboratory for Research on Animal DE ieases [ILRADJ, PO Box 30709, Hir*yuk the

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Ignoring this glimpse ‘into the future, it must be said that this is the best book available on the subject. It should be used not just by entomologists, but by all workers and teachers involved with vector-borne diseases. It is well written, authoritative and full of ‘gems’, the best of which concerns spiders. It is said that most bites of Latrodectus in Texas are inflicted on men using outdoor privies. (Why not women?) It is recommended that webs should be moved from under the seats so that ‘the spiders would not be stimulated to attack the delicate portion of the anatomy causing them to vibrate’ (p. 678). There is no reference to this story. In fact, for a reference book there are too few references. This book will undoubtedly stimulate more young biologists to become medical entomologists. Perhaps the future of the subject is brighter than we think and they might find it worthwhile to study Swedish. R. Killick-Kendrick Department of Biology lmperlal College at Silwood Park Ascot, UK SL5 7PY

Indexes We hope that you find the enclosed subject and author indexes useful. If you are interested in buying any back issues of Parosir~lo~ Joday, please contact Alison Fricker at our Cambridge offIce, and she will help you.