Animals under logs and stones

  • Accessibly covers cryptosphere ecology and environment
  • Easy-to-use, comprehensively illustrated keys
  • Offers guidelines for study and ideas for further research

    • Coming Soon
    • ecology
    • entomology
    • identification
    • invertebrates
    • logs
    • soil
    • taxonomy


    Logs, stones and the like provide an interesting interface between the damp depths of the soil and the drier open ground surface, offering refuges for a fascinating array of animals. The communities of organisms that live beneath them are little noticed and even less studied, yet the potential for ecological work here is great. Some of the animals are relatively large and frequently not difficult to find. They exhibit a wide range of lifestyles – from slow slugs or snails to very fast centipedes, from generalist to specialist feeders and from herbivores to carnivores.

    With chapters covering the cryptosphere environment, species groups, identification, guidelines and ideas for further research, this much-expanded and updated new edition also includes extensive, easy-to-use, comprehensively illustrated keys. Ground-surface debris can be found almost anywhere, often presenting highly accessible microhabitats for study and bringing immediate rewards to the curious: here is the ideal tool to unlock these worlds.

    DOI: 10.53061/UXAG4304

    About the Author

    Phil Wheater is Professor Emeritus in Environmental and Geographical Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University. After a long university career, he has semi-retired to follow his interests in the ecology and management of human-influenced environments, and invertebrate conservation and management. He has written several books on ecology and field techniques, is a keen advocate of field ecology, and continues to teach university students, including on field courses. 

    Dr Helen Read is the Conservation Officer for the City of London Corporation at Burnham Beeches, a National Nature Reserve in Bucks. She is an active member of the British Myriapod and Isopod Group having been Secretary and Bulletin Editor for many years and has previously served on the Council of the British Arachnological Society and been its Secretary. She is currently updating the Synopsis of the British Fauna volume on millipedes.

    Charlotte Wheater is an artist who has produced illustrations for a range of outputs, including websites, research reports, infographics, and books.

    Bibliographic Information

    • 352 pages
    • 130 photographs, 280 line drawings, 52 charts and diagrams
    • 10 tables
    • BISAC SCI070020, NAT011000, NAT005000, NAT017000