The Art of Being a Parasite

Hardback
Parasites are masterful works of evolutionary art. The tiny mite Hisliostoma laboratorium, a parasite of Drosophila, launches itself, in an incredible display of evolutionary engineering, like a surface-to-air missile at a fruit fly far above its head. Gravid mussels such as Lampsilis ventricosa undulate excitedly as they release their parasitic larval offspring, conning greedy predators in search of a tasty meal into hosting the parasite. The Art of Being a Parasite is an extensive collection of these and other wonderful and weird stories that illuminate the ecology and evolution of interactions between species. Claude Combes illustrates what it means to be a parasite by considering every stage of its interactions, from invading and reproducing to leaving the host. An accessible and engaging follow-up to Combes's Parasitism: The Ecology and Evolution of Intimate Interactions, this book will be of interest to both scholars and nonspecialists in the fields of biodiversity, natural history, ecology, public health, and evolution.