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Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History

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This lavishly illustrated guide will enable you to identify the caterpillars of nearly 700 butterflies and moths found east of the Mississippi. The more than 1,200 color photographs and two dozen line drawings include numerous exceptionally striking images. The giant silk moths, tiger moths, and many other species covered include forest pests, common garden guests, economi This lavishly illustrated guide will enable you to identify the caterpillars of nearly 700 butterflies and moths found east of the Mississippi. The more than 1,200 color photographs and two dozen line drawings include numerous exceptionally striking images. The giant silk moths, tiger moths, and many other species covered include forest pests, common garden guests, economically important species, and of course, the Mescal Worm and Mexican Jumping Bean caterpillars. Full-page species accounts cover almost 400 species, with up to six images per species including an image of the adult plus succinct text with information on distribution, seasonal activity, foodplants, and life history. These accounts are generously complemented with additional images of earlier instars, closely related species, noteworthy behaviors, and other intriguing aspects of caterpillar biology. Many caterpillars are illustrated here for the first time. Dozens of new foodplant records are presented and erroneous records are corrected. The book provides considerable information on the distribution, biology, and taxonomy of caterpillars beyond that available in other popular works on Eastern butterflies and moths. The introductory chapter covers caterpillar structure, life cycles, rearing, natural enemies, photography, and conservation. The section titled Caterpillar Projects will be of special interest to educators. Given the dearth of accessible guides on the identification and natural history of caterpillars, Caterpillars of Eastern North America is a must for entomologists and museum curators, forest managers, conservation biologists and others who seek a compact, easy-to-use guide to the caterpillars of this vast region. A compact guide to nearly 700 caterpillars east of the Mississippi, from forest pests to garden guests and economically important species 1,200 color photos and 24 line drawings enable easy identification Full-page species accounts with image of adult insect for almost 400 species, plus succinct text on distribution and other vital information Many caterpillars illustrated here for the first time Current information on distribution, biology, and taxonomy not found in other popular works A section geared toward educators, Caterpillar Projects An indispensable resource for all who seek an easy-to-use guide to the caterpillars of this vast region


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This lavishly illustrated guide will enable you to identify the caterpillars of nearly 700 butterflies and moths found east of the Mississippi. The more than 1,200 color photographs and two dozen line drawings include numerous exceptionally striking images. The giant silk moths, tiger moths, and many other species covered include forest pests, common garden guests, economi This lavishly illustrated guide will enable you to identify the caterpillars of nearly 700 butterflies and moths found east of the Mississippi. The more than 1,200 color photographs and two dozen line drawings include numerous exceptionally striking images. The giant silk moths, tiger moths, and many other species covered include forest pests, common garden guests, economically important species, and of course, the Mescal Worm and Mexican Jumping Bean caterpillars. Full-page species accounts cover almost 400 species, with up to six images per species including an image of the adult plus succinct text with information on distribution, seasonal activity, foodplants, and life history. These accounts are generously complemented with additional images of earlier instars, closely related species, noteworthy behaviors, and other intriguing aspects of caterpillar biology. Many caterpillars are illustrated here for the first time. Dozens of new foodplant records are presented and erroneous records are corrected. The book provides considerable information on the distribution, biology, and taxonomy of caterpillars beyond that available in other popular works on Eastern butterflies and moths. The introductory chapter covers caterpillar structure, life cycles, rearing, natural enemies, photography, and conservation. The section titled Caterpillar Projects will be of special interest to educators. Given the dearth of accessible guides on the identification and natural history of caterpillars, Caterpillars of Eastern North America is a must for entomologists and museum curators, forest managers, conservation biologists and others who seek a compact, easy-to-use guide to the caterpillars of this vast region. A compact guide to nearly 700 caterpillars east of the Mississippi, from forest pests to garden guests and economically important species 1,200 color photos and 24 line drawings enable easy identification Full-page species accounts with image of adult insect for almost 400 species, plus succinct text on distribution and other vital information Many caterpillars illustrated here for the first time Current information on distribution, biology, and taxonomy not found in other popular works A section geared toward educators, Caterpillar Projects An indispensable resource for all who seek an easy-to-use guide to the caterpillars of this vast region

30 review for Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mariel

    Future butterfly, gonna spend the day higher than high You'll be beautiful confusion Ooh, once I was you. - Elliott Smith I felt a sympathy with a caterpillar. There were more of them caterpillared into my heart. The one I wore on my sleeve when he took a ride. On the ground and rescued from my windshield wiper in traffic. Yellow and green and fuzzy and red eyes and little faces and little bodies. I didn't remember what their antenna were called. Ground control feelers. Two days in April I saw the Future butterfly, gonna spend the day higher than high You'll be beautiful confusion Ooh, once I was you. - Elliott Smith I felt a sympathy with a caterpillar. There were more of them caterpillared into my heart. The one I wore on my sleeve when he took a ride. On the ground and rescued from my windshield wiper in traffic. Yellow and green and fuzzy and red eyes and little faces and little bodies. I didn't remember what their antenna were called. Ground control feelers. Two days in April I saw them and it was different the time before I saw them and the time after I saw them. It was time out of place in days I don't like that much. I should probably do more about that but in the mean time I read this book about caterpillars. It won't last forever (it doesn't last long enough) but in the mean time it is like day dreaming version of counting sheep to think about caterpillars. If you know what kinds of plants they like to eat you could play detective and find them again. You could eat donuts and wait in the spot for another year before they come out to play again. Or you could dig other kinds of caterpillars because they are cool too. This book has photos and drawings of many species of butterfly and moth caterpillars (other reviews made me feel protective of moth caterpillars. Other books leave them out. Moth caterpillars are as interesting! I might like them more than the butterflies to make it up to them).  The sections are divided by species. No, there aren't photos of every species and variation. Where and when they are, what they liked to eat.  I didn't know that the Mexican jumping bean is a caterpillar. The Canadian Owlet is gorgeous. The yellow and black spots that resemble a saw fly. Or a baby alien snake. I liked reading about the chemical protections their bodies produce to protect them from predators. I'm a know nothing dingbat when it comes to caterpillars but I had a good time wondering why some species were so less picky about the quality of their green stuffs than other specimens.  Florida was listed as a locale for many caterpillar species. I feel better about this place knowing that. At least something good wants to live here. I think my favorite little guys are tussock moth caterpillars. I suppose I could find out for sure by finding out about the plants around where I found them. That's what I learned from this book. You are what you eat. Or you could say they are before what you are before you cocoon and transform into something beautiful. I like the caterpillars. Crawling and fuzzy and eating and living to fulfill a potential. There's one kind of moth that never eats. They don't have mouths. They only live a week because they don't eat. Their lives are long enough to breed. That sucks. It is better to be a caterpillar. P.s. I liked how defensive the author was against blowtorchers calling these lovelies pests.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    The first book to attempt a comprehensive treatment of most butterfly and moth larvae found east of the Mississippi. Photographs are given for all the species and a brief natural history description which includes host/food plants, habitat, and detailed descriptions for identification. Although range maps are not included, there is an occurance section for most species which will give the reader a general idea of where the caterpillar may occur. Also included is a smaller photo of the adult moth The first book to attempt a comprehensive treatment of most butterfly and moth larvae found east of the Mississippi. Photographs are given for all the species and a brief natural history description which includes host/food plants, habitat, and detailed descriptions for identification. Although range maps are not included, there is an occurance section for most species which will give the reader a general idea of where the caterpillar may occur. Also included is a smaller photo of the adult moth/butterfly. Anyone interested in lepidoptera should own the book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Gilley

    If anyone wants a good comprehensive guide to caterpillars as well as their adult form this is the book for you. I have used a small Peterson guide for caterpillars and it was hard to use since it is limited in the selection of caterpillars. From one naturalist to another this is a great book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    A great field guide, and one surely needed for Lepidoptera. The introduction and beginning sections are a great guide for those not familiar with caterpillars, and also highly experienced entomological professionals. I look forward to continuing to use this guide!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    it has pretty much every caterpillar in the eastern half of the country and can get you close on western and even international cats. It's the first place I go for ID, but it is hard to find what you are looking for; unless you have a lot of experience you will generally have to look through every picture in the book to find yours, as it's set up by family rather than appearance. Also it does not cover sawflies, which often throw me, just mentions them and syrphid larvae briefly in the intro, so it has pretty much every caterpillar in the eastern half of the country and can get you close on western and even international cats. It's the first place I go for ID, but it is hard to find what you are looking for; unless you have a lot of experience you will generally have to look through every picture in the book to find yours, as it's set up by family rather than appearance. Also it does not cover sawflies, which often throw me, just mentions them and syrphid larvae briefly in the intro, so watch out. Finally, it only has one or at most two photos of a species, so the highly varieable ones can be tricky. I generally start here and then go online to BugGuide to confirm.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    Terrific book. I almost always find what I'm looking for, and details about host plants & development are much appreciated. This book just reinforces my feeling that caterpillars are much more interesting than adult Leps! Now, if only he would write one for WESTERN North America... Terrific book. I almost always find what I'm looking for, and details about host plants & development are much appreciated. This book just reinforces my feeling that caterpillars are much more interesting than adult Leps! Now, if only he would write one for WESTERN North America...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Great reference - beautiful book. A little hard to use in reverse (butterfly to caterpillar.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dlp

    Excellent reference.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  12. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Baum

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Clark

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ken Woods

  15. 5 out of 5

    Candice Burns

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave Fouchey

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tana

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cassidy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Baranetsky

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ann C. Meyer

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shala

  26. 4 out of 5

    Corey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  29. 4 out of 5

    Purpunn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy

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