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Caterpillars in the Field and Garden: A Field Guide to the Butterfly Caterpillars of North America Paperback – May 4 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 4 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195149874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195149876
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 1.5 x 14 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #411,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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

From the Publisher

413 color maps, 496 color photos

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Caterpillars in the Field and Garden: A Field Guide to the Butterfly Caterpillars of North America

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa2a0c2dc) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2a67a38) out of 5 stars The First Complete Guide to Butterfly Larvae Feb. 9 2006
By David B Richman - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Caterpillars in the Field and Garden: A Field Guide to the Butterfly Caterpillars of North America" fulfills the very real need for the identification of the caterpillars of butterflies and skippers from North America. While not covering much in the way of moths (they have a token few at the end of the book) this book does pretty much what the author says it will do- help you identify the caterpillars of just about any butterflies found in North America, north of Mexico. The moths (which make up ten times species as butterflies) have numerous caterpillar forms and to identify these I would recommend the guide to eastern North American caterpillars by David L. Wagner.

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.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa33ce03c) out of 5 stars From caterpillars do butterflies grow Nov. 30 2005
By Reader from Yellow River - Published on
Format: Paperback
For a couple years now, I've been trying to learn all I can about butterflies. It all started in 2002 when I made it through a lazy, long summer day by playing hopskotch. While hopping around the cracked sidewalk, I saw a sadddle-back moth caterpillar! Then this year, I saw a Monarch butterfly breaking out of the sac its caterpillar had made on one of the arms of the front porch family glider. So I was really ready for CATERPILLARS IN THE FIELD AND GARDEN.

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!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa25e93a8) out of 5 stars Caterpillars of Field and Garden Nov. 3 2006
By Oliver Gillham - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a very nicely done guide to the subject, and it is only flawed by the fact that moth larvae are not included. See "Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History" (Princeton Field Guides)by David L. Wagner for a more comprehensive guide. But, if you are serious about the subject, you should probably have both books.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2c28264) out of 5 stars Caterpillars in the Field and Garden by T. Allen, J. Brock, and J. Glassberg July 26 2008
By 4felines - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best field guide on caterpllars I know of. Exhaustive color photography of each species. Color range maps. Introduction includes tips on butterfly gardening and an easy-to-read biology of butterflies from eggs to adults, behavior, and diseases. Supplementary text including a more detailed description of caterpillars along with page no. of image. Foodplant index with scientific names. Excellent paperback reference.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2fc20cc) out of 5 stars A Monumental Work! April 16 2007
By Jerry K. Hatfield - Published on
Format: Paperback
Despite the fact that this guide is not very thick, it provides lots of helpful information and excellent photograhps for anyone wanting to try their hand at identifying butterfly larvae. I heartily recommend it!