© 2013

Arthropod Biology and Evolution

Molecules, Development, Morphology

  • Alessandro Minelli
  • Geoffrey Boxshall
  • Giuseppe Fusco

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Alessandro Minelli, Geoffrey Boxshall, Giuseppe Fusco
    Pages 1-15
  3. Gonzalo Giribet, Gregory D. Edgecombe
    Pages 17-40
  4. Davide Pisani, Robert Carton, Lahcen I. Campbell, Wasiu A. Akanni, Eoin Mulville, Omar Rota-Stabelli
    Pages 41-61
  5. Gerhard Scholtz, Carsten Wolff
    Pages 63-89
  6. Alessandro Minelli, Giuseppe Fusco
    Pages 91-122
  7. H. Frederik Nijhout
    Pages 123-148
  8. Diego Maruzzo, Francesca Bortolin
    Pages 149-169
  9. Bernard Moussian
    Pages 171-196
  10. Giuseppe Fusco, Alessandro Minelli
    Pages 197-221
  11. Stefan Richter, Martin Stein, Thomas Frase, Nikolaus U. Szucsich
    Pages 223-240
  12. Geoffrey Boxshall
    Pages 241-267
  13. Michael S. Engel, Steven R. Davis, Jakub Prokop
    Pages 269-298
  14. Rudolf Loesel, Harald Wolf, Matthes Kenning, Steffen Harzsch, Andy Sombke
    Pages 299-342
  15. Christian S. Wirkner, Markus Tögel, Günther Pass
    Pages 343-391
  16. Gregory D. Edgecombe, David A. Legg
    Pages 393-415
  17. Jason A. Dunlop, Gerhard Scholtz, Paul A. Selden
    Pages 417-439
  18. Jennifer A. White, Massimo Giorgini, Michael R. Strand, Francesco Pennacchio
    Pages 441-477
  19. Matthew S. Stansbury, Armin P. Moczek
    Pages 479-493
  20. Back Matter
    Pages 495-532

About this book


The Arthropoda is by far the largest living phylum, comprising over 1.2 million living species, and its unique evolutionary success is the primary focus for this up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the biology of the group.  This astonishing species richness is matched by a spectacular diversity in body forms and adaptations.  To counter the largely unavoidable trend towards increased specialization within a particular group, this volume adopts a comparative viewpoint across the entire phylum, encompassing both extant and fossil forms.  The phylum-wide perspective allows us to appreciate the wave of recent advances in knowledge of arthropod biology and evolution and to identify emerging themes and priorities for future research.

As ever in the history of science, this wave of advances is driven by the rapid development of new methods and techniques.  New methods of extracting and studying fossils have vastly improved understanding of Palaeozoic arthropods.  New non-invasive, non-destructive techniques, such as micro-computed tomography, have revolutionised anatomical analysis and imaging. Arthropod comparative genomics is still in its infancy but high-throughput sequencing together with next-generation sequencing has facilitated spectacular growth in volumes of sequence data, which in turn has driven advances in bioinformatics. These novel methods have generated a wealth of data which has been critically reviewed by the chapter authors, to provide a new perspective on arthropod biology and evolution.

The concise factual summaries and the questions articulated in this book will be of interest to evolutionary biologists, palaeontologists, developmental geneticists and invertebrate zoologists. It will be of special interest to advanced graduate and post-graduate students and have the potential to stimulate younger researchers to address questions in arthropod biology from the vantage point of a phylum-wide comparative perspective.


arthropod body plan arthropod development arthropod structure phylogeny segment formation

Editors and affiliations

  • Alessandro Minelli
    • 1
  • Geoffrey Boxshall
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Fusco
    • 3
  1. 1., Department of BiologyUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2., Zoology DepartmentNatural History MuseumLondonUnited Kingdom
  3. 3., Department of BiologyUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly

Bibliographic information


From the book reviews:

“This volume, edited by Minelli et al., is a timely, invaluable, and extensive overview of advances. … This volume is a significant achievement and provides an outstanding starting point for students interested in any aspect of arthropod evolution, as well as a rich resource in which researchers specializing in particular taxa can situate their work in a broader evolutionary and functional context.” (John True, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 89 (3), September, 2014)

“The ambitious volume of Minelli and co-editors represents a comprehensive, stimulating and timely review of what is currently known about arthropods. Individual chapters reveal gaps in our knowledge and highlight possible directions for further research. … Minelli et al.’s book should not be neglected by zoologists, and I recommend it to all students, teachers and researchers interested in arthropods.” (Georg Mayer, Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, Vol. 52 (1), 2014)

“The contents are organized into 18 chapters devoted to morphology, paleontology, phylogeny and developmental biology, and to aspects of physiology and molecular biology. … The layout is aesthetically pleasing; drawings and illustrations … as well as the colour images are of high quality throughout. … it can be highly recommended to anyone interested in any group of arthropods and/or in any aspect of biology.” (Hannelore Hoch, Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, Vol. 60 (2), 2014)