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This welcome addition to Iowa's popular series of laminated guides – the twenty-seventh in the series – illustrates fifty-one species commonly found in the Upper Midwest states of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The Saturniid, or Giant Silk moths, are well named. Their large size – up to 6.5 inches for the cecropia moth – and the soft silky browns, greens, and oranges of their wings are unforgettable when they appear at a lighted window at night. Equally well named are the Sphinx or Hawk moths, important pollinators that hover like hummingbirds when nectar-feeding at dusk and even in daylight. The caterpillars of both families can be just as distinctive as the adults, as anyone who has ever come upon a tobacco or a tomato hornworm can attest.
For each species the authors have included common and scientific names, wingspan, and time of flight for the adults at this final stage in their life cycle. Striking photographs of the adult moths and of their larval stages make Moths in Your Pocket as beautiful as it is useful.
For all naturalists captivated by the clear window eyespots of a Swallow-tailed Luna moth, the dark eyespots and bright yellow "pupils" of an Io moth, or the extendable proboscis of a White-lined Sphinx moth flitting from one moss rose to another, the photographs and descriptions in Moths in Your Pocket will be an invaluable reference.
Photographer, birdwatcher, and former avionics engineer Jim Durbin is past president and current board member of the Cedar Rapids Audubon Society.
Frank Olsen, a retired software installer, conducts butterfly surveys for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, and county conservation departments.
Tom Jantscher is a civil engineer who studies moths and butterflies as a hobby, including informal surveying, photographing, collecting, and rearing.