Butterflies have a tantalizing beauty that has intrigued humans for thousands of years. Ancient peoples carved images into stone and thought them messengers from the gods. Mythologies of diverse cultures today still accord them special status. We are drawn to their flashing color patterns, elusive flight, seemingly endless varieties, fleeting appearances and astonishing life histories.
Worldwide, there are perhaps 14,500 species of butterflies and skippers, most of them in the tropics. More species are to be found in the American tropics, about 6,000, than anywhere else in the world. The metamorphosis of butterflies remains one of natures most fascinating wonders.
The only field guide to cover all North America butterfly species, this monumental work is also a complete natural history, fully describing the biological and ecological world of butterflies in general. Over 4,500 beautiful, full-color pictures covering 679 species, with many photographs illustrating the various life forms in natural habitat. 24 videos. Complete with over 600 field maps of all native species and 100 figures ranging from larval, pupal and adult structures to glands, nervous systems, reproductive parts, and cells, veins and other organs.
Learn about the ecology, behavior, evolution, physiology, genetics, biogeography and other fields related to how butterflies live, how they came to exist, and where, when and how you may find them. Extensive discussions on life cycles, behavior, hostplants, variation, and other topics. Discover butterfly gardening, so you can see these beauties in your own yard.
Discover keys and tools for the identification of the major butterfly groups, in all life stages and data on recognizing species that are native to or strays into the United States, Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Bermuda and Hawaii. The appendixes provide information on studying, collecting, and raising butterflies and about 50 useful references on butterflies and their hostplants.
A comprehensive, integrated glossary with simple, clearly defined terms, so that persons who may be unfamiliar with butterfly terminology can easily learn them, 24 wonderfully colorful videos, enchanting original music by musician Eric Speier, full text search, and much more round out this essential, all-inclusive reference.
James A. Scott started studying butterflies in 7th grade, when his mother made him a net from opaque red material and a coat hanger. One of his first treasured butterflies was a Giant Swallowtail, found sipping manure in a cattle pen, which was preserved in a jar with grass. From these crude beginnings, he went on to study butterflies on weekends and school vacations, and received a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of California, Berkeley, doing his thesis on the behavior of adult butterflies. He served on the faculties of the University of California at Davis, and Colorado State University, and currently is involved with a multitude of projects, including writing, and consulting work for conservation organizations. He has studied butterflies throughout North America, and in Panama, Columbia, and Africa. He pioneered the study of mate-locating behavior of butterflies, discovered thousands of new hostplants for western North American butterflies, and has discovered and named dozens of new butterflies.
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