Margareta Séquin: The Chemistry of Plants and Insects: Plants, Bugs and Molecules
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This fluently written book is illustrated by well-chosen colour photos and numerous chemical formulae as well as some tabulation of data such as one showing the composition of the synthetic medium used to feed pea aphids. This involves having a detailed knowledge of insects’ dietary needs, which are surprisingly complex. I found it interesting to read that the reason that pheromones have odd numbers of carbon atoms in each molecule is because of the mechanism by which insects synthesise them. After reading this book one comes away with the feeling that there is a lot more to be learned from this topic, particularly by those who would like to move away from using environmentally unfriendly sprays in favour of more targeted approaches.