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Silent Sparks Sara Lewis

Silent Sparks By Sara Lewis

Silent Sparks by Sara Lewis

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Silent Sparks Summary

Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies by Sara Lewis

For centuries, the beauty of fireflies has evoked wonder and delight. Yet for most of us, fireflies remain shrouded in mystery: How do fireflies make their light? What are they saying with their flashing? And what do fireflies look for in a mate? In Silent Sparks, noted biologist and firefly expert Sara Lewis dives into the fascinating world of fireflies and reveals the most up-to-date discoveries about these beloved insects. From the meadows of New England and the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains, to the rivers of Japan and mangrove forests of Malaysia, this beautifully illustrated and accessible book uncovers the remarkable, dramatic stories of birth, courtship, romance, sex, deceit, poison, and death among fireflies. The nearly two thousand species of fireflies worldwide have evolved in different ways--and while most mate through the aerial language of blinking lights, not all do. Lewis introduces us to fireflies that don't light up at all, relying on wind-borne perfumes to find mates, and we encounter glow-worm fireflies, whose plump, wingless females never fly. We go behind the scenes to meet inquisitive scientists who have dedicated their lives to understanding fireflies, and we learn about various modern threats including light pollution and habitat destruction. In the last section of the book, Lewis provides a field guide for North American fireflies, enabling us to identify them in our own backyards and neighborhoods. This concise, handy guide includes distinguishing features, habits, and range maps for the most commonly encountered fireflies, as well as a gear list. A passionate exploration of one of the world's most charismatic and admired insects, Silent Sparks will inspire us to reconnect with the natural world.

Silent Sparks Reviews

Honorable Mention for the 2017 PROSE Award in Popular Science and Popular Mathematics, Association of American Publishers One of Seattle Times' 18 books of 2016 perfect for the bookworm in your life One of Science News' Favorite Books of 2016 An illuminating peek into a fascinating corner of field biology.--Barb Kiser, Nature [A] beautiful new book.--Liz Langley, Over millennia, fireflies have followed widely varied evolutionary paths. In fact, nearly 2,000 species of fireflies have been discovered globally. This level of complexity might present a serious narrative challenge for some, but Tufts University biologist Sara Lewis's fascination with these insects is captivating and infectious.--American Scientist An exploration of the little-known lives of fireflies. More so than most insects, fireflies capture our attention--and imagination--for their bioluminescence. Whether flitting across a suburban backyard or clustering in groups of thousands in the Great Smoky Mountains, these enigmatic beetles put on serious light shows after dusk, blanketing the landscape with synchronous patterns. It seems downright romantic--and, writes Lewis (Biology/Tufts Univ.) in this wide-ranging yet intimate narrative, it is indeed these flashes that ignite firefly courtship. In prose that is plenty accessible for younger readers, the author doesn't skimp on the details as she divulges 'some of fireflies' most deeply held secrets'... A delightful book sure to charm nature lovers of all ages.--Kirkus Lewis takes readers into the realm of fireflies... An excellent option for insect fans and anyone curious about the lightning bugs in their yards.--Library Journal (starred review) [A]n intense, almost obsessive book describing the radiantly appealing aspects of the firefly world.--Washington Post A must-have book for anyone fascinated by fireflies and, by association, glow worms... This is no dry academic textbook. It's a beautifully, even poetically written and detailed account of the lives of fireflies, their behaviour and their biology... This is a book which I heartily recommend.--Robin Scagell, UK Glow Worm Survey Most of us probably remember the wonder we experienced the first time we saw a firefly light up a summer night. Sara Lewis Has captured that amazement in a bottle and poured it out onto the page... Silent Sparks is an enlightening book about these fascinating insects. Reading it just might inspire you to go outside and spend a summer night contemplating the wonder of fireflies.--Wild About Ants blog Silent Sparks is at its best when Lewis describes her own experiences in the field, such as lying on her back on the forest floor while flickering fireflies wafted mere inches above her nose. For readers who would like their own experience, Lewis includes a field guide to the most common species found in the southeastern United States (the hot spot of North American firefly diversity). So grab a copy of the book, along with a net, jar and kid you love, and relive fond childhood memories while inspiring a few new ones.--Science News Lewis adeptly conveys the wonder of fireflies in this engaging book. Her tone is friendly and conversational, while information conveyed is clear, comprehensive, and accessible for readers... Lewis's inclusion of interesting stories, personal observations, as well as many interviews add to the book's appeal.--Booklist Online What makes Silent Sparks catch fire is Lewis's breathtaking ability to channel her inner Rachel Carson and bring that 'sense of wonder' to the table as the author delves into all things Lampyridae.--Bruce Fellman, Kent County Daily Times Hard to put down... A brilliant book!--Chris Slade's Bee Blog [A] beautiful coffee-table book.--Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star This informative book is written with a passion for fireflies you probably didn't realize existed, and it'll inspire you to reconnect with nature.--Sacramento Bee The bottom line: if you are enamored by fireflies, this book is for you.--Choice [Lewis] combines her sense of awe with her extensive knowledge of the nearly 2,000 species of fireflies worldwide.--Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times Lewis takes us further into their [fireflies'] lives, sharing her knowledge of their growth stages, sex lives, and enemies; she even describes the chemistry that produces their glow. She does so, however, in such clear and accessible prose that she makes these subjects fascinating.--Gerry Rising, Buffalo Spree The craft with which this book is written reflects an abiding respect. It was as if the deeper Lewis explored nature, the stronger her regard for it became, as well as her understanding of everything else... A thoroughly delightful look into the astonishing firefly 'Umvelt.' It is a delightful montage of natural history, biochemistry, behavior, ecology, and evolution.--Fredric V. Venci, Quarterly Review of Biology

About Sara Lewis

Sara Lewis, who has been captivated by fireflies for nearly three decades, is a professor in the Department of Biology at Tufts University. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Scientific American, and USA Today. Lewis lives with her husband in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Preface ix CHAPTER 1 Silent Sparks 1 CHAPTER 2 Lifestyles of the Stars 13 CHAPTER 3 Splendors in the Grass 28 CHAPTER 4 With This Bling, I Thee Wed 45 CHAPTER 5 Dreams of Flying 61 CHAPTER 6 The Making of a Flasher 80 CHAPTER 7 Poisonous Attractions 100 CHAPTER 8 Lights Out for Fireflies? 119 FIELD GUIDE TO COMMON FIREFLIES 145 STEPPING OUT-FURTHER FIREFLY ADVENTURES 166

Additional information

Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies by Sara Lewis
Princeton University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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