Scott, Ralph D. 1935–

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Scott, Ralph D. 1935–

PERSONAL: Born 1935.

ADDRESSES: Home—2726 Shaia Way, Billings, MT 59101-9208.

CAREER: Biologist and technical illustrator.

WRITINGS:

(Illustrator) Roland H. Wauer, Heralds of Spring in Texas, Texas A&M University Press (College Station, TX), 1999.

(Illustrator) John L. Capinera and Thomas J. Walker, Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Ralph D. Scott, a scientific illustrator and biologist, has provided the artwork for Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States by University of Florida entomologists John L. Capinera and Thomas J. Walker. It is the first guide of its kind, containing entries on more than two hundred common species of these insects found on the U.S. mainland. Together, this equals one third of all the species in the order Orthoptera. Many of the others are either rare or so closely related that they can be identified only by dissection, therefore justifying their exclusion in the book. Scott provides color illustrations of each insect, along with black-and-white drawings conveying anatomical details.

As Andrew Harvey noted in the Times Literary Supplement, the study of grasshoppers and locusts was first employed in fighting plagues and agricultural infestations. The order Orthoptera is an integral part of the study of ecology, since the movements of these insects and their habits can influence the growth of plants; they are also an important food source for other animals and birds. Changes in their numbers and distribution can provide clues to changes in the environment. Harvey called Scott's color illustrations "beautiful…. The pictorial keys are excellently presented, and the non-specialist should be able to identify the common species reliably."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, April 1, 2005, Annette Aiello, review of Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States, p. 120.

Times Literary Supplement, June 10, 2005, Andrew Harvey, review of Field Guide to Grasshoppers, Katydids, and Crickets of the United States.