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Odonata: Biology of Dragonflies

B.K. Tyagi (Editor)
Synopsis Dragonflies (Odonata), represented by over 6000 known species, are unique insects.  In more than one feature they differ, at the very first glance, from all other insect super orders including their nearest allies, the mayflies (Ephemeropteroidea).  They probably evolved as early as in the Lower Devonian.  Odonata are characterized by a numbaer of extremely archaic features, have evolved but very little in the course of the past geological epochs, and are, therefore, justly considered as a kind of living fossils.  The living dragonflies represent but one order (Odonata), organized in three suborders, viz., Zygoptera, Anisozygoptera and Anisoptera.  Anisozygoptera are represented in the present day fauna only by two relic species, one of which is endemic to Japan and the other in India and Nepal.  The Zygoptera and Anisoptera, on the other hand, are the dominant groups.  Being voracious predators in both immature (aquatic) and adult (aerial) stages they are important elements of all, except the drier (or high alpine) environments in temperate and tropical regions, occupying a position at the apex of the food chain of invertebrate life.  Many dragonfly species are tested biological control agents for several disease-transmitting vector mosquitoes, especially Aedes species.  They are also ideal organisms to be used as indicators of water pollution and contamination.  Many species serve as intermediate hosts of fluke parasites of birds, and thus are important in the transmission of parasitic diseases, especially of domestic poultry and wild ducks.  Because of their unique morphology and physiology, dragonflies are used extensively in the study of many biological phenomena.  All these subjects are discussed in this unique book comprising twenty three articles written by expert odonatologists from different parts of the world.  The book, dedicated to Prof.  Dr. B. Kiauta the Father of Odonatology is a unique treatment to odonate taxonomy, ecology, biology, zoogeography, cytotaxonomy and ethnobiology.  Above all, the festschrift includes a complete odonatological bibliography of Dr. Kiauta, along with a brief and highly stimulative biographic sketch from an odonatologist’s view point, which will surely serve to energise the young entomologists in pursuing science in the best tradition.  The book is written in a lucid and comprehensible language, and will likely be useful to both the professional and amateur alike.
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About the author

B.K. Tyagi

Born on 23rd July, 1951 in Agra (UP), Dr. B.K. Tyagi completed his early schooling, college education and doctoral research in reputed institutions and Universities, and was adjudged best M.Sc. student (1974) and Research Scholar (1978), besides winning as post-doctoral researcher fellowships like JRF, SRF, PDF and Research Associateship under various GOI organizations. Before taking up his life long mission on mosquito research in 1981, he has worked quite extensively on as varied disciplines as odonate and thrips’ cytotaxonomy, termite and ant ecology, collembolan taxonomy, entomogenous fungi and insect conservation. While pursuing research on vector-borne diseases like malaria, filariasis and dengue, dr. Tyagi has extensively worked in several States/Uts in the country, such as Gujarat, Pondicherry, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He has to his credit nearly 170 titles, mostly on medical entomology, and most of which published in both national and international scientific journals. Dr. Tyagi was selected for the First Prize in a worldwide competition organized by the TDR/WHO in 1996, and his prized contribution was published in the Annual Report of the WHO, Geneva. In the scientific arena Dr. Tyagi has held many prestigious positions: (i) He was elected as the first National Representative in-Charge in South Asia for the International Odonatological Society (1981-1994), (ii) He was elected as the first Member in-Charge in southern Asia for the Odonata Specialist Group of Species Survival Commission (IUCN) (1985-1995), and (iii) He has been serving on the editorial boards of about a dozen scientific journals, in addition to being a Fellow and / or Member of nearly two dozens of national and international scientific bodies, including the prestigious royal Entomological Society, UK. He has visited several countries like France, Switzerland, USA, Czech Republic and Canada, for presenting scientific papers etc. He is the author of his magnum opus “Malaria in the Thar Desert: Facts, Figures and Futures”, published in 2002. He has also invented a mechanical mosquito sampler which is patented by the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi.

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Bibliographic information

Title Odonata: Biology of Dragonflies
Author B.K. Tyagi
Format Hardcover
Date published: 23.02.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8172334826
length xix+366p., Maps; Figures; Plates; 26cm.