Chapter 2. The Importance of Insects

  1. Robert G. Foottit2 and
  2. Peter H. Adler3
  1. Geoffrey G. E. Scudder

Published Online: 30 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444308211.ch2

Insect Biodiversity: Science and Society

Insect Biodiversity: Science and Society

How to Cite

Scudder, G. G. E. (2009) The Importance of Insects, in Insect Biodiversity: Science and Society (eds R. G. Foottit and P. H. Adler), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444308211.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Environmental Health National Program (Biodiversity), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, K. W. Neatby Bldg., 960 Carling Ave., Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6, Canada

  2. 3

    Department of Entomology, Soils & Plant Sciences, Clemson University, Box 340315, 114 Long Hall, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0315, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, 7270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 6 MAR 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405151429

Online ISBN: 9781444308211



  • importance of insects - diversity, ecological role, and influence on agriculture, human health, and natural resources;
  • dominance of insects in living world and how they are central to advances in science;
  • Wheeler in his ‘species scape’ - pictorially illustrating current dominance of insects;
  • insects creating - biological foundation for all terrestrial ecosystems;
  • food webs involving insects - quite complex;
  • insects and public - long connection with humankind;
  • world's most destructive insects - brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens;
  • Insects - unique features in animal world and recent inventions of humans;
  • quaternary insect fossils - sensitive indicators of past environments and climates


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Diversity

  • Ecological Role

  • Effects on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Human Health

  • Insects and Advances in Science

  • Insects and the Public

  • References