With detailed descriptions and photos of the adult, egg, caterpillar and chrysalis of each species, this book reveals in detail the fascinating life cycles of the 59 butterfly species that are considered resident or regular migrants to Britain and Ireland. It provides unique insights into a hidden world, and is illustrated with over 1,300 high-quality colour photos that reveal the subtle beauty in something as small as a butterfly egg.
While aimed at the typical butterfly enthusiast, the book's content has been successfully tested by conservation scientists who need to record all stages when measuring the impact of habitat management and climate change. The book also includes recent discoveries that are documented here for the first time.
Butterflies are infinitely fascinating. What may start as a simple hobby of photographing the adult insects can evolve into a deep interest in their immature stages, ecology and conservation and this book will help light your way.
"Over the past decade or so, Peter Eeles has patiently compiled photographs of every stage of the life cycle of every regularly breeding British butterfly, 59 species in all. The result is a profusely illustrated book which documents the development of the butterfly from egg to adult in greater detail than ever before [...]"
– Peter Marren, British Wildlife 31(3), February 2020
"Book of the Year 2019. Buy it! Will be a best seller [...] "
– Matthew Oates, naturalist and the Times Nature Notebook writer and author
"Absolutely stunning book! Nature book of the year?!"
– Stephen Moss, natural historian, television producer and author
"This beautiful book gives overdue attention to the miracle that is a butterfly's lifecycle – its marvellous caterpillars, chrysalises and eggs. What a superb achievement."
– Patrick Barkham, Guardian Natural History writer and author
"Not since that lepidopteran legend F.W. Frohawk studied and etched them nearly one hundred years ago have all the stages in the life cycles of all of Britain and Ireland's butterflies been illustrated in one volume. No mean feat!"
– Chris Packham CBE