Sunday book review – Metamorphosis by Rupert Soskin


Stunning images of insects. This book is stuffed full of them.

Stick insects, beautiful caterpillars, lacewings, wasps, mosquitoes – all are photographed in perfect detail. And the point of the book is that they are caught as eggs and in various stages of development, as well as as adults.

I knew a bit about ant lions, but worm lions were new to me. Wow!

There is a fair amount of biology in here as well as technical mastery, but it’s essentially a book of photographs. Stunning photographs of too-much-neglected insects.

It would be a good idea to ration yourself to a chapter at a time. I started flicking through the book and found myself flicking past glorious and amazing photographs as my eyes glazed over. Almost every one of these photographs would make a stunning poster on a wall, and the danger is that putting them several per page, and filling a book with them, devalues their impact unless you concentrate hard.

Many of the species are unfamiliar to the UK reader – but many are familiar too.

Nature is amazing – and this book is a window into that amazing world.



Metamorphosis by Rupert Soskin is published by Bloomsbury.

Inglorious: conflict in the uplands by Mark Avery is published by Bloomsbury – for reviews see here.

Behind the Binoculars: interviews with acclaimed birdwatchers by Mark Avery and Keith Betton is published by Pelagic – here’s a review.

A Message from Martha by Mark Avery is published by Bloomsbury – for reviews see here.





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