Language: Bilingual in English and Japanese
From the preface:
"About 20,000 species of butterflies are estimated to live on the earth. However, the early stages are probably known only for about 1,000 species or 5% of all. Although this figure is very small, it is understandable if we realize that their ova, larvae, and pupae are not only small but are well-formed or adapted to hide themselves in nature. They are usually difficult to find, and even if found, it takes time and requires much care to breed them successfully. This painstaking task is often left untouched until the adults are studied and named, and only comparatively few people do really undertake this task.
Needless to say, a tremendous amount of knowledge of ecology, philogeny, ontogeny, taxnomy, etc. is obtained by studying the early stages of butterflies. By elucidating the ecology of a butterfly species, not only studies of its fluctutation in numbers, changes in distribution, etc., but also the need for nature conservation including its habitat may be developed. There have been many examples of the elucidation of the taxonomic positions of butterfly species by the study of their larval stages. In some cases, even the errors in the classification based only on the adult forms have been corrected. Taxonomy in future must incorporate not only the traditional studies of adult wing coloration patterns, wing venations, morphology of genitalia, etc., but also the morphology of the early stages.
The authors have paid special attention to the life histories of butterflies living in other regions as well. In the past 30 years, they have accumulated data on some 600 species in Asia to produce this volume based on one half of them. Numerous photographs and concise descriptions of the morphology from the ovum to the adult, ecology, and foodplants have made it into a source of information unrivalled with any other concerning the life histories of Asian butterflies."
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