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Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America Paperback – Apr 17 2012

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Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America + Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History + Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East
Price For All Three: CDN$ 63.33

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Original edition (April 17 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780547238487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547238487
  • ASIN: 0547238487
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 11.4 x 18.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

David Beadle grew up in Kent, England, where he had no interest in the natural world until he was gripped by an obsession with birds in his late teens. It was while working at a bird observatory that David became interested in moths, an interest that soon grew to an all-consuming passion. He now lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and son, and he has photographed more than 2,000 species of moths in that province alone.

In addition to his work with moths, David has contributed to over thirty books and countless journals, including New World Warblers and A Field Guide to the Birds of Chile.

Seabrooke Leckie is a biologist and naturalist, writer and photographer, but most of all a lover of nature. She holds a B.Sc.H. in Zoology and has worked on field research contracts in many parts of the continent, from California to Québec, British Columbia to Ohio, as well as her home province of Ontario. She discovered moths quite by accident one summer while away on contract, and they've since become her number one passion. Birds are her second interest; she is a federally licensed bird bander and volunteers each summer with a local bird research organization. She lives in rural eastern Ontario with her man, two dogs and three cats. Most afternoons you can find her outdoors, peering closely at flora and fauna, camera in hand. She blogs her discoveries at her website,

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I am very disappointed with the misleading title of this guide, ".... Moths of Northeastern North America".
Are the Atlantic provinces of Canada not part of Northeastern North America ? ? ! !
The range maps stop in southern Quebec and western New Brunswick. And to add insult to injury, the lead authors of this publication are Canadian. Shame on you, you should know better.
Future editions should be renamed "Field Guide to Moths of the Northeastern United States and Southern Canada", or the range maps and distribution notes should reflect the geographic region claimed !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Paiero on March 25 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A comprehensive look at our larger moths, a great guide to have on hand when hanging around a light in the middle of summer! The authors give distribution maps for many of the species (~60-70% with maps) to give an idea of where you may find each species in the northeast. The flight period data may also be helpful to narrow down the season that you may find some species, or to help separate species. Well worth the buy and definitely worthwhile to have on hand on those hot summer evenings!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NorthenBiodiversity on July 30 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tons of info: Also great for the northwestern part of North America.... Just ignore the maps: they show only NE US, not NE North America. But still fabulous work!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Northeastern moth Bible, that, along with a couple key websites (some listed in the book), can identify practically any moth you find. I bring this book the every black light sermon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 52 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding! April 20 2012
By K. Piercefield - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At last -- a comprehensive moth guide that shows all the covered species in color and in their natural resting positions! If you've ever struggled to identify a lovely moth on the window screen using black and white photos of pinned specimens with wings outstretched, you'll appreciate that this book fills a long-standing need. The range maps and the placement of information on the same page-spread as the moth's image also make this guide user-friendly, and while it won't take the place of Covell's Moths of Eastern North America, it will make an excellent companion volume.

Butterflies have until now shone brightest in the lepidoptera limelight, but this book should help open many eyes to the beauty and amazing variety of moths.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Book! Awesome! April 18 2012
By Jo Ann Poe-McGavin - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is great new book. Although far from a complete guide, as it doesn't have rare or uncommon moths. It is still great for most people. If you have the earlier Covell edition, don't get rid of it-it has things that are not in this new book.

The illustrations/photos are beautiful! The range maps are great! The info on the species is VERY helpful! This book is by far the nicest Moth book I've seen! Excellent! Totally recommend it to anyone interested in Moths!!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Good but not great. May 1 2012
By Keven Canning - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have been waiting for moths, I mean months, for this guide to come out. I LOVE BUGS. I own many many field guides. While this is a comprehensive catalog of moths, for space saving reasons, it is heavily lacking. First of all, it is mostly ID plates with little or no accessory information about specific species. Secondly, almost all of the moths are shown dorsally only. While this is the most common way to ID moths, many have distinguishing features that are not visible two dimensionally, dorsally or ventrally.

I like this book. It is the best of it's kind as there really aren't any other moth guides out there. On a side note besides what I have mentioned here, I would love to see larval and chrysalis guide made. If anyone knows of one, please let me know because I have been looking. So back to the book, I like it but it could, and should be better. It's already a large book so I would recommend an eastern and western addition. Again, it's the best of what's available and it is a solid 4 stars.

Update 5-16-12
Just want to add a note. After using this guide a bit, I believe my comments above may be a little exaggerated. This guide does indeed have MANY non dorsal view moths. I guess I was just stuck identifying moth that only showed dorsal views and I was disappointed. I maintain my 4 star rating though, Good but not great.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great reference, even if you're not in the book's range! June 20 2012
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was really excited several months ago to hear about the upcoming release of the Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America. I ordered my own copy as soon as I could! I like it very much overall, but there are some things that I think could be improved upon, as I detail below.

Although the book's region is pretty narrow, it has to be in order to treat such a large group in any detail. Even if you don't live in northeastern North America, I recommend this book for learning about moths, moth study, and recognizing some of the large moth families.

Not all moths are pollinators, but most of the large family Sphingidae play a role in pollination all over the world. This book includes almost 40 species of these moths, including nocturnal and diurnal feeders!

Like all Peterson guides, this one starts with information about body structure and the names of wing and other parts that are helpful in identification. There's a nice little range map at the beginning of the book that shows which states are included in the book's scope, and several introductory pages about observing, photographing, and further identifying moths. You'll even learn a little about moth taxonomy, life history, and conservation!

The images in the species accounts are great- I like that they show all the moths at rest- with their wings folded, because this is how they usually look when you find them! For moths with bright markings that are hidden when they're resting, there's also a photo of an individual with wings spread, so you can see them as well. Many pages in the species accounts also show the moths' actual size.

There are a couple of things that I think would make the book more beginner-friendly. First, there's a colored image next to the description of each moth, but I can't find an explanation of what this thing shows anywhere in the book. My guess is that it is a seasonal color code, with the flight season of the moth species shown with a black bar under the seasons' code. For someone who isn't familiar with natural history or field guides, this could be really confusing. A simple explanation of this at the beginning would suffice to explain it.

Second, I wish all the moths were shown with their complete range maps. There's no range map at all for the moths described until page 176. Does that mean that the moths without maps are found over the entire range covered in the book? The range maps that are shown only cover the range of the book... this makes sense in a way, but I'm interested in the full geographic range of these species, so I'll know if I might see it elsewhere.

Overall, I think this is a great resource for learning moth natural history information, families, and species identification techniques. Moths are an enormous group, and a guide covering everything about them wouldn't be practical for use in the field. Hopefully there will be an updated version in a few years that at least explains the mysterious colored bars!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A great piece of work but... May 25 2013
By Sean F. Werle - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a much-needed addition to the field guide pantheon and solves a huge problem left by the previous guide (Covell) being long out of print. The layout and photographs are excellent, and the coverage is pretty remarkable considering that including every moth would be near impossible. My one gripe is with the publisher rather than the authors; the binding is terrible and began to fall apart on me after less than a month. In any book that is a serious flaw, but in a field guide it's egregious and only the quality of the content kept me from docking it 2 stars rather than one for its shoddy binding.