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The Sting of the WildJustin O Schmidt

Johns Hopkins University Press, £16.00

This is 'the story of the man who got stung for science', a truly fascinating and informative book about Justin O Schmidt and his adventures with stinging insects. Schmidt has been fascinated by small creatures from an early age, especially those with a sting, and has been on a mission to investigate the world's stinging insects – using himself as a research subject.

He describes the evolution of these stinging creatures and the science behind the sting, and covers the world's most interesting stinging insects, including both their biology and how he encountered them. The book features a Schmidt Sting Pain Index, ranking more than 90 insects from a low pain level of 1 to a very painful 4. If you want to find out which insect has the most painful sting, you will have to read the book.

This is an informative and engaging story about the fascinating lives behind the insects that you may just think of as very annoying visitors at picnics.
A Sting in the Wild will open your eyes to just how exciting and impressive the lives of stinging insects are, with plenty of insight into how painful their stings are.

Melissa Minter