The Butterflies of Iowa Paperback – May 1 2007
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" Without a doubt, this is the most comprehensive guide to butterflies in Iowa. It provides information regarding both historic and present-day distributions relative to landforms, plant resources, and specific natural areas. In addition to the standard morphological descriptions, each species is described relative to flight time, natural history, and particular questions that need future research. An excellent source!" -- Diane Debinski, Iowa State University
About the Author
Dennis Schlicht is an advanced placement biology instructor at George Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; he has been studying butterflies for more than forty years. Entomologist John Downey (1926-2005) retired in 1988 as graduate dean of the University of Northern Iowa; prior to that he was chair of the biology departments at UNI and Southern Illinois University. Jeff Nekola is currently an adjunct associate professor in the Biology Department at the University of New Mexico.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book covers all butterflies known from Iowa. Each is shown by color photographs that are of good quality and size. Both the dorsal and ventral views are shown. Unless there are insignificant differences between the sexes, both the male and female are illustrated with both dorsal/ventral photos. Some of the species (e.g., sulphurs) are shown with six photos when notable variations exist.
Each butterfly is covered with about one-half page of text. This includes status, seasonal flight dates, and a quick mention of the distribution and habitat. A paragraph is dedicated to the distinguishing features of the butterfly. This is written clearly with good details. Many of the descriptions include brief notes on differences from a similar species.
A unique inclusion is a "Questions" section that concludes the text for each butterfly. These questions address holes in the knowledge for each species. Hopefully, these will spur butterfly enthusiasts to fill in the gaps of natural history information. Examples include "What are the larval hosts?", "Why is it absent from seemingly appropriate fen and wet prairie sites in ne Iowa?", and "How do populations synchronize the flights of individual adults?".
The Iowa distribution map for each butterfly includes a dot within each county to represent the butterfly's presence. Adjacent to each map is a seasonal flight chart.
This is a great book. I really like its format with the photos, maps, and text. The only minor critique I'd offer is to use the page number instead of the Opler/Warren number to match the photo with the text. It's a tiny bit inconvenient to find butterfly #422 when flipping through the pages since many numbers are not included (because the species are not found in Iowa). Thus, it's a little unnatural to find butterfly #422 by skipping over missing numbers to find it immediately between #s 403 and 432. However, this is still minor.
Since this book covers nearly 90% of the butterflies in the adjoining plains states, this will be a very useful book for Midwestern butterfly enthusiasts to have in their library.
I've listed several related books below...
1) Butterflies & Moths of Missouri by Richard
2) Field Guide to Butterflies of South Dakota by Marrone
3) Butterflies of North America by Brock/Kaufman
4) The Butterflies of North America by Scott
5) National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies
The authors have done a great job putting together information about each species - more detail than you can find in many guides.
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