Caterpillars in the Field and Garden: A Field Guide to the Butterfly Caterpillars of North America Paperback – May 4 2005
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Praise for the Through Binoculars series: "May do for butterflies what Roger Tory Peterson's landmark handbooks did for birds in the 1930s."--The Village Voice
"The authors, all independent scholars, are among the leading lepidopterists in North America. This book fulfilled the reviewer's expectations that it would be a masterpiece. It presents the most comprehensive treatment of North American butterfly caterpillars available, vastly surpassing all other general references...This book is destined to become a classic." Choice
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413 color maps, 496 color photosSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The Sub-title reads "A FIELD GUIDE TO THE BUTTERFLY CATERPILLARS OF North America" yet ALL maps throughout the book are incomplete, cutting off most of Canada, and Mexico. North America is more then the United States.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
One nice (and important) touch are the illustrations of the adults of most butterflies.
I annually take part in the 4th of July Butterfly Count and you can be sure I'll bring a copy of this book to the next one to see if we can locate some of the caterpillars of the butterflies we spot.
This is a great guide for anyone interested in butterfly gardens (helps you identify the immature stages), amateur naturalists or just the plain curious.
Authors Thomas J Allen, Jim P Brock and Jeffrey Glassberg know what they're talking about. They've studied, looked long and hard at, and lived with caterpillars and butterflies for years. They've also put all that book learning and field work into a clearly written, well organized guide with many helpful pictures.
Their book gives the English and scientific names, identification, host plant, habitat and garden tips for each of over 500 butterfly caterpillars. It also has good photos of each caterpillar and butterfly. But the authors warn that the pictures are of caterpillars when they're that close to making the sac from which butterflies break away. Based on the very few examples found so far, young caterpillars don't look that much like their older forms.
A female butterfly can lay as many as 100-300 eggs. But only about 1-2 will make it through life to become a butterfly. Too many will be killed by bacterial, fungal or viral diseases; or parasite flies and wasps; or people; or pesticides. Many of us now see the need to reduce pesticide and hazardous material use. With this book, we'll know butterfly caterpillars when we see them. So we'll know better than to spray and swat them.
What I take away from this beautiful work is how good butterfly caterpillars and butterflies are for us and our green spaces. Most caterpillars going after our salad or vegetable plants aren't going to grow up to be butterflies. Butterfly caterpillars and butterflies go for North America's native plants and trees. That's all they need, along with shelter from the wind, nectar, flat stones for sunning, and damp sand or gravel for salt. And their favorite pig-out food: fermenting fruits!