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Here are some of the most colorful, spectacular and sometimes weird examples of the world's butterflies and moths. From the common swallowtail to the iridescent blue morpho, Thomas Marent's stunning photographs provide a close-up view of the remarkable family of insects known as Lepidoptera. The macro photography complements the enlightening text written by zoologist Ronald Orenstein, who explains the scientific curiosities of these amazing insects. He makes clear how to differentiate between butterflies and moths; how caterpillars camouflage themselves; and how their feeding strategies and evolutionary adaptations help them prevail in the wild.
Examples include such seldom-seen species as the green dragontail (Indonesia), Mexican kite-swallowtail (Costa Rica), the alpine black swallowtail (China) and European sulphurs. Among the many anatomical characteristics profiled are the purpose and differences between butterfly and moth antennae (smell, communication and feel); how some butterflies are amazing mimics, appearing to the untrained eye as nectar-feeding hummingbirds; and how the patterns on their wings, depending on the species, may be spots that make the insects look like larger critters to their predators.
Butterflies brings to abundant life the unfathomable beauty and variety of butterflies and moths.
Butterflies has seven sections which provide comprehensive coverage of Lepidoptera. They are:
1. Introduction to Butterflies includes What are butterflies?; Color Patterns; Courtship; Migration; and Climate Change
2. Butterfly Diversity includes Swallowtails; Skippers; Whites, Sulphurs and Yellows; Milkweed Butterflies; Fritillaries; Emperors; Gossamer-winged Butterflies; Metalmarks and more
3. Butterfly Wings covers Flight; Color; Tails and Ornaments; Eyespots and more
4. Butterfly Life History covers Mating; Eggs; Caterpillars; Metamorphosis and more
5. What Butterflies Eat includes Feeding Apparatus; Flowers; Rotting Fruit; Drinking; Puddling and more
6. Butterflies in their Environment covers Predators; Camouflage; Mimicry; Overwintering and more
7. Myriads of Moths includes Day-Flying Moths; Silks; Giants; Mimicry; Wing Pattern; Defense and more
Ronald Orenstein is a zoologist, lawyer and wildlife conservationist who has written extensively on natural history issues. His most recent books are Ivory, Horn and Blood and Hummingbirds.
Thomas Marent is a wildlife photographer based in Switzerland. His previous books include Frog, Rainforest and Life in the Wild.