192 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations
The most spectacular wild silkmoths live in tropical and subtropical forests and include the elegant moon moths with delicate pale green wings and long tails, the huge atlas moths with snake patterns embroidered on the edges of their wings, and the "bulls-eye" moths with brightly-coloured eye-spots that resemble the eyes of owls.
The interplay of wing colour and design, behaviour, and ecology in the evolution of these extraordinary insects is explored in a lively, accessible text by award-winning author Philip Howse accompanied by the magnificent photographs of Kirby Wolfe. Many previously unrecognised examples of mimicry of other animals embedded in their wing patterns are described and illustrated, including images of owl eyes, bird wings, claws, teeth, heads of reptiles, birds, rodents, cats ... all designed to frighten the short-sighted, insect-eating birds that seek to prey on them.
The grandeur and the fascinating natural history of the giant silkmoths and the manner in which they protect themselves are described and illustrated in this lavishly-produced book in such a way that as to enthrall scientists, students, artists and all those interested in wildlife and photography.
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Philip Howse has published books and research articles on insect behaviour and ecology. He has developed environmentally-friendly methods for the control of insect pests, recognised by a number of awards including the OBE. After a career spent mainly at Southampton University, he has now retired but continues writing about the insects that have fascinated him since childhood.
Kirby Wolfe has published books and research articles on insect behaviour and ecology. He is a Research Associate of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California, and has spent more than 25 years studying and photographing moths.