This volume not only represents a biological trove bursting with scientific information, but also comprises an artistic contribution to the world of art and science. 100 Caterpillars is an elegant addition to the library of anyone interested in art, science, or natural history who wants to learn more about tropical insects.
--Margaret D. Lowman, author of It's a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops
Furry, thorny and psychedelic--it's a shame that these caterpillars will turn into butterflies, so remarkable are they in their current state. Working with local gusaneros (caterpillar collectors) for the Area de Conservación Guanacaste, the authors have documented 25 years of biodiversity in Costa Rica's Lepidoptera. Consider this beautiful book their long-awaited greatest hits album. (Seed 2006-04-01)
The authors present close-ups of 100, generally ostentatious, macrocaterpillars from the estimated 9,500 species inhabiting northwestern Costa Rica's Area de Conservacicn Guanacaste. The species accounts include comments on behavior, range, abundance, food plants, predators, and parasites. Accompanied by an image of the adult, each highlights a relevant natural history theme. (Science 2006-06-09)
The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly or moth is one of nature's most beguiling acts of magic. Masters of deception and camouflage in the early stage of life, these insects must survive what seem insurmountable odds before taking flight, when they reveal yet another sleight of hand. Yet most of us see only a fleeting moment of this metamorphosis, much less the variety and color palette of 225,000 known species of butterflies and moths. Seldom do we embrace in detail the many masks worn by caterpillars, often their only strategy for survival. That mosaic is captured in the new book 100 Caterpillars: Portraits From the Tropical Forests of Costa Rica by Jeffrey Miller, Daniel Janzen and Winifred Hallwachs. The authors reflect on how caterpillar diversity plays a part in behavior and ecology and forms one of the interconnected webs of nature...The result of their labors is a collection of stunning large-format photographs that document myriad shapes, colors, textures and cryptic markings.
--Kurt Loft (Tampa Tribune 2006-06-05)
More than 100 large-format photographs document a conservation project that has been 25 years in the making. The book is also full of caterpillar trivia: many live solitary lives, even indulging in cannibalism. Groups of caterpillars (an army in case you were wondering) stay together by secreting a chemical track that others can follow. (Daily Telegraph 2006-07-01)
The pictures are backed up by painstaking ecological research that makes sense of the exuberance and vibrancy. This is a treasure trove of natural history that should remind conservationists what we are doing this for.
--Adrian Barnett (New Scientist 2006-07-08)
This is truly an impressive book. It combines the visual appeal of a coffee table book of insects that anyone might pick up, with detailed information on the ecology of each species that will interest the entomologist...Complementing the brilliant photographs are accounts of the life-histories and host-plants of each species together with first hand descriptions of the circumstances of collection and a small colour photograph of the adult insects. This remarkable book is strongly bound in cloth-covered cardboard with an attractive fly cover. It will appeal to anyone interested in natural history, entomology, insect photography and art!
--Dr. Garry Levot (General and Applied Entomology)
This collection of more than 100 full-color portraits of plant-eating machines that develop into moths and butterflies captures the beauty of these creatures up close. Each specimen was collected by the authors or by gusaneros, the resident caterpillar collectors of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste in Costa Rica. From the nearly 9,500 species of caterpillars that make their home in the area, the authors, who are conservation biologists, selected 100 of the most colorful and distinctive for their gallery of full-page, finely detailed photos at the front of this book. At the back are pages, about one per species, describing each speciman and--in an unusual twist on butterfly books--a small rendering of each one's adult form. What results is an homage to some of nature's most fascinating creatures with some of the weirdest appearances. (Science News 2006-07-29)
I opened the book and fell headlong into a world of unbelievable creatures...Leaf through the large-format photographs in 100 Caterpillars and you'll see all the latest in caterpillar-wear from the mountains and forests of Costa Rica. We're talking pine-needle coats, detachable red tails, and fake orange eyes. That is, if you can find the caterpillars. Consider the incredibly cryptic Narope, completely indistinguishable from a papery sheath of bamboo, or Archaeoprepona meander, twin to a torn leaf...What's not to love?
--Ketzel Levine (NationalPublicRadio.org 2006-11-28)
[This book does] justice to [its] photogenic subjects...100 Caterpillars showcases the richness of a single UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica. The uniformly posed caterpillars, arranged as an inventory of species, look like so many fat worms in Mardi Gras drag. Matching photographs and descriptions of their adult forms occupy the second half of the book.
--Laurence A. Maschall (Natural History)
Before you can have a butterfly, it helps to have a caterpillar. Here's a beautifully photographed album of 100 of them, set against matte-black backgrounds, in colors that range from neon green to stained-glass red and yellow.
--Michael Upchurch (Seattle Times)
The photographs of the caterpillars are utterly gorgeous, with a profusion of shapes, colours and patterns that go beyond the fantastical into the otherworldly. In the second half of the book, the three authors present serious caterpillar science in a chatty fashion, describing the fate of one spiny species as becoming 'a fully sized package of high-quality food for the fly maggot.'
--Peter Calamai (Toronto Star 2006-12-31)
Jeffrey C. Miller is Professor in the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management at Oregon State University.
Daniel H. Janzen is Thomas G. and Louise E. DiMaura Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Winifred Hallwachs is Research Associate at the University of Pennsylvania.