The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Butterflies & Moths

The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Butterflies & Moths

A Natural History and Identification Guide to the Most Significant Species, Including Swallowtails, Hairstreaks, Yellows, Fritillaries, Blues, Skippers, and Tiger Moths

Book - 2012
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Adored for their beauty and variety, butterflies and moths captivate nature enthusiasts all over the world. Yet these exquisite insects, which comprise the animal grouping Lepidoptera, are not only attractive to watch but are of immense biological importance. They are both pollinators, and scientific ?indicators? of changing levels of light, heat and availability of food ? meaning that some species are the subject of intense scientific study. Despite challenges posed by shrinking forests and open spaces, many butterflies and moths are adapting well to their changing habitats, proving that ? despite their seemingly fragile appearance ? they are ingeniously equipped to deal with a range of environmental factors. This superb visual resource profiles some of the world?s best-loved and most intriguing butterflies, moths and skippers, with a geographically-split directory of 600 detailed entries, each containing useful identification summaries and quick-reference panels on distribution, habitat, food, wingspan and status. The majority of species are realized in exceptional full-colour artworks, from full-body illustrations toawings depicting detail such as the pattern on the reverse side of the wings, recognizable when the creature is resting, as well as unusual markings and pupae. Butterflies in particular can be immensely variable and some have evolved deceptive (and defensive) physical traits which mean they can become confused with other species. Read, for example, about the sub-Saharan common graphium, which has the power to mimic a poisonous butterfly from another family, or the blood-red glider, immensely valued among collectors for its rich red colour. Some species are well-travelled, such as the familiar coppers whose light-catching wings can be seen in habitats as widespread as Europe, central Asia and China. Others, such as South America?s giant swallowtail ? a rainforest species with wings spanning some 250mm/10in ? are being placed under increasing pressure by the collapse of their very specialized habitats. Moths remain mysterious to many people, and are often perceived, at best, as little worthy of attention, or, at worst, as pests. Yet this insect group, which contains both day- and night-fliers, displays unique and varied forms of behaviour that makes them endlessly interesting to observe. With coverage of both day- and night-flying species, the reader can learn all about the colourful cinnabar moth, whose caterpillars turn cannibal during food shortages, or the puss and tiger moths, whose hindwings may suddenly display flashes of ?warning? colour to deter threats. The aptly-named hummingbird hawk moth is a nature lover?s favourite for its ability to feed, hovering, at the heads of flowers. Then there are the silk moths ? domesticated by collectors for centuries ? and the skippers, predominantly grassland-dwellers who occupy the evolutionary middle ground between butterflies and moths. A superb photographic reference section covers the life cycle of all of these creatures, with detailed descriptions of internal anatomy and the powerful structure of the wings. There are stunning close-up images of compound eyes and feeding equipment, as well as information on classification and life cycle ? including hibernation habits ? plus evolutionary characteristics such as melanism, camouflage and mimickry. For those who want to get closer, there are tips on how to attract moths and butterflies to your own backyard, the type of species you are likely to see in nearby habitats, and take part in conserving species at local level. With a total of 1000 colour photographs, artworks and maps, and containing meticulously researched and accessible text throughout, this is the essential companion for butterfly and moth enthusiasts everywhere.
Publisher: London : Lorenz, c2012
ISBN: 9780754818847
Branch Call Number: 595 .78 MOR
Characteristics: 256 p. :,col. ill. ;,30 cm
Alternative Title: Butterflies & moths


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