98 pages, 92 colour photos, colour maps
This guide, based on a survey in 2013 and 2014, covers most of the approx. 70 species of butterflies in the northeastern Leeward Islands. As far as the literature is concerned, the survey added two species to the list for St. Kitts which now includes 45 species and 15 species were added to the list for Nevis which is now known to have 40 species. These lists are thought to be largely complete and few additions are expected, especially of resident species. The survey took place on 13-22 Dec. 2013 on Nevis, 1-14 June 2014 on St. Kitts and Nevis, and 30 Nov.-18 Dec. 2014 on St. Kitts and Nevis. It included all habitats up to 1476 ft (450 m) above sea level on both islands and resulted in 733 records (number of individuals of a particular species, at a particular location on a particular date) and 117 site and date records (one or more species at a particular location and date). Through the survey status on the island of each species was determined. The butterfly fauna of the two islands is an interesting admixture of species that have arrived from the Greater Antilles to the north and from the Lesser Antilles to the south. The butterflies contribute to an understanding of the origins and evolution of the Caribbean flora and fauna. Due to isolation on islands and island chains, some species and subspecies are known only from the West Indies, or only from the Lesser Antilles, and some are restricted to the northeastern Leeward Islands. The introduction provides information on historical factors likely influencing the butterfly fauna, larval foodplants, habitats, differences between butterflies and moths, protective coloration, butterfly stamps, and references and online resources. For each species notes are provided on natural history, classification, identication, earlier records and size. Most species are illustrated. Ninety-two colour plates are included. Butterflies play an important role in the environment through interactions and can serve as environmental indicators. Information is provided for monitoring through butterfly counts. Popularity of butterfly watching and photography has recently increased, as advanced equipment and more information has become available. The guide is designed for professional biologists and teachers, as well as both residents and tourists.
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