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Walking a forest trail in Costa Rica, a visitor might be struck by the sight of an iridescent blue morpho butterfly fluttering ahead in the filtered daylight, or an enormous silk moth, as magnificently patterned and subtly colored as a Persian carpet, only emerging to fly at night. Elsewhere, vivid yellow and orange sulphur butterflies flock to puddles to sip the concentrated minerals. Such is the dazzling variety of the butterflies and moths unique to this region.
Gathered by biologists Daniel Janzen and Winifred Hallwachs in the forests of northwestern Costa Rica, 100 tropical butterflies and moths represent the diversity in large-format photographs by Jeffrey Miller that document the dizzying variety of shapes, colors, and markings. The photographs are accompanied by species accounts and images of the corresponding caterpillar. The authors recount these insects' feats of mimicry and migration, lift the veil on their courtship, and show how the new technology of DNA barcoding is changing the picture of Lepidopteran biodiversity.
The authors also tell the success story of Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, where the long-term work of Janzen and Hallwachs, a team of caterpillar collectors, and the participation of neighboring farming communities has deepened understanding of Costa Rica's Lepidoptera and has brought about advances in restoration ecology of tropical habitats, biodiversity prospecting, biotechnology, and ecotourism development.
- A Natural History of Butterflies and Moths
- A Gallery of Butterflies and Moths
- Behavior, Ecology, and Caterpillar Images
- Life History and the ACG Environment
- What's in a Name?
- The Parataxonomists: Lepidoptera and Plant Biologists
- Numerical Species List
- Alphabetical Species List
Jeffrey C. Miller is Professor in the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management at Oregon State University. Daniel H. Janzen is Thomas G. and Louise E. DiMaura Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. Winifred Hallwachs is Research Associate at the University of Pennsylvania.
Butterflies and moths (lepidoptera) are among the most colorful and conspicuous tropical insects, and their caterpillars are important herbivores. Yet reliable information on caterpillar/adult associations has been limited to scattered reports by 19th- and early 20th-century lepidopterists. Then in the late 1970s, Janzen and Hallwachs began intensive raising of wild-caught caterpillars in Costa Rica. In this sequel to their 100 Caterpillars: Portraits from the Tropical Forests of Costa Rica, they present photographs of adults and their caterpillars for 200 species of the showiest lepidoptera of Guanacaste National Park in northwestern Costa Rica. The adults are each presented in Miller's full-page photographs taken against a black background, while smaller images of the caterpillars are embedded in the text...Much more than pretty picture books, 100 Caterpillars and 100 Butterflies will be devoured by lepidopterists and visitors to the New World tropics. -- Annette Aiello Library Journal 20070601 100 Butterflies and Moths presents portraits of some of the 10,000 species estimated to inhabit the Guanacaste conservation area in northwestern Costa Rica. The photographs, taken by Jeffrey Miller, and the accompanying, informative descriptions could serve as a field guide for a visit to the Costa Rican forest or be equally appealing to the armchair naturalist. Nature 20070531 This stunningly beautiful book offers 100 portraits of butterflies and moths from Costa Rica...Even if you are not wildlife-mad, the wondrous pictures alone are worth the price. Recommended. -- Lucy Sussex Sunday Age 20070708 This is a beautiful book that helps us experience the rich biodiversity of the tropics. -- Frederic Brock Wildlife Activist 20070601 From the authors of 100 Caterpillars: Portraits from the Tropical Forests of Costa Rica comes this new book dedicated to the moths and butterflies of the Guanacaste Area of Conservation. The reserve is a wild area in the northwestern portion of Costa Rica, equal in size to New York City and its suburbs. This book presents the site's winged beauties in vivid detail. Wings with striking colors and markings not only keep the insects aloft, but also transmit a variety of messages, serve as camouflage, and attract mates. The authors present a compilation of the 28 years of research that they've conducted in the conservation area with the aid of local lepidoptera collectors. Details emerge of moth and butterfly behavior, their metamorphoses, the conservation area's environment, and the effort that goes into identifying and classifying these animals in both their caterpillar and adult stages. Science News 20070505 Filled with fascinating details about the inner and outer workings of their subjects, they remain true to their original missions: to present caterpillars and Lepidoptera (the order of insects that includes moths and butterflies) "as beautiful objects unto themselves." And beautiful they are, not to mention bizarre. -- Peter Scowen Globe and Mail 20100415