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A World for Butterflies: Their Lives, Behavior and Future

A World for Butterflies: Their Lives, Behavior and Future

5.0 1
by Phillip Schappert

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  • Chosen by Booklist (American Library Association) as one of the 'Top 10 Sci-Tech Books' in 2000.

Butterflies are the most charismatic species of the insect world. Their brilliant colors, ability to fly, complex behavior, ecological relationships with plants and animals, and their broad distribution in a wide variety of habitats have


  • Chosen by Booklist (American Library Association) as one of the 'Top 10 Sci-Tech Books' in 2000.

Butterflies are the most charismatic species of the insect world. Their brilliant colors, ability to fly, complex behavior, ecological relationships with plants and animals, and their broad distribution in a wide variety of habitats have fascinated people for centuries.

With over 300 color photographs and drawings, A World For Butterflies is a lavishly illustrated guide to the world of butterflies providing a wide range of information about this colorful and graceful insect.

The book is divided into five chapters, each focusing on a major question:

  • What are butterflies?
  • How many kinds of butterflies are there?
  • Where do they live?
  • How do they live?
  • What can we do to help them survive?

Among the many topics discussed in detail are evolution, life cycle, courtship and reproduction, anatomy, geographic distribution, migration, demography, as well as butterfly-watching.

A World For Butterflies is the first book to feature photographs of butterflies in their natural settings, accompanied by fascinating text, such as:

  • Only one or two out of a hundred eggs will survive to become a butterfly
  • Strategies to deter predators include false eyespots, heads and bright wings that 'disappear' when folded up
  • Butterflies without strong anti-predator scent or taste have evolved to look exactly like those that do.

Accurate, comprehensive, and beautifully illustrated, this is the ultimate guide to the world of butterflies.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist - Nancy Bent
STARRED REVIEW: The term 'charismatic megafauna' is usually reserved for highly visible (and often endangered) mammals, such as tigers or rhinoceros. As Schappert points out in his introduction, butterflies are the charismatic megafauna of the insect world. Their large size and brilliant colors make them obvious to even casual observers, and their occurrence in a wide variety of habitats has interested us for centuries. The author, who studies plant and butterfly interactions, has written a fascinating introduction to these beautiful day-flying insects. The first chapter explains what a butterfly is, the difference between butterflies and their more numerous cousins the moths, and their anatomy. Taxonomy and the butterfly families of the world are covered in the second chapter, with diversity and where they live comprising the third. In many ways, the fourth chapter on the natural history and behavior of butterflies is the most fascinating portion of the book, and illustrates the complex relationships between butterflies and their environment. The final chapter on conservation is an eloquent plea for the continued existence of these most intriguing insects. The book is beautifully illustrated with photos of live butterflies taken in the wild. An extremely useful glossary and bibliography (which will be continually updated via a website), coupled with the clear and concise writing style, make this book an absolute must for any collection. YA: Well-written, popularization of sometimes complex science makes this a must for reports.
Entomological Society of America
Impeccably researched ... enjoyable, informative, and indispensable.
[Schappert's] lavishly illustrated book provides an introduction to this ephemeral but ubiquitous arthropod.
Houston Chronicle - Gary Clark
Condenses an immense amount of scientific information about butterflies into a relatively slim volume of lucid prose and vivid photographs ... All the photographic illustrations are germane to the accompanying text, not there just to astound you.
Stunningly illustrated ... a must for anyone with a fondness for this photogenic insect.
Chicago Tribune - Lynn Van Matre
Profusely illustrated, detailed look at the world of butterflies, covering virtually every aspect of the insect.

Product Details

Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.75(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Phillip Schappert is a charter member of the North American Butterfly Association. He obtained his doctorate in Biology at York University in Toronto and is currently teaching and conducting research in plant/butterfly interactions at the University of Texas in Austin. He is also the editor of the News of the Lepidopterists' Society and of Passiflora, the publication of Passiflora Society International, and has authored a number of magazine articles and scientific papers about butterflies and plants.

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A World for Butterflies: Their Lives, Behavior and Future 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has the commendable quality being able to be ¿many things to many people¿. It can be recommended to a host of readerships¿not only butterfly lovers and knowledgeable lepidopterists, but general science readers, nature lovers, and general readers concerned with environmental issues. For nature buffs the book does as well as an introduction to the wonders of butterflies as it does taking seasoned butterfly enthusiasts deeper into the details of their favorite subject. The book has been executed with a judicious combination of informed text and beautiful photography and graphics. The photographs are not just beautiful; they have been selected carefully with regard to what they teach along with the accompanying text. Lepidopterists will quickly note that this book satisfies a long-lingering need in their field-- the need for a ¿really good book¿ bridging between the simple LOVE of Lepidoptera and the SCIENCE of Lepidoptera. Lepidopterists seeing this book for the first time are going to wish they had had it when THEY were young. The book hits the whole spectrum-- life cycles, body and structure, classification, distribution, and general biology. It even moves on gamely to more complex topics, like mimicry and genetics. In each case, diagrams and/or photographs make even seemingly complex topics readily understandable. I purchased a copy for a ten year old friend who is just beginning to take that love of butterflies to a higher level of learning. Yet, the book would do just as well for adults. In fact, a professional needing a quick refresher on this or that topic in lepidoptery could use the book as well. It is to the great credit of A World For Butterflies that it bites off the issue of conservation with both urgency and precision. This compelling topic is treated not simply with sweeping abstractions and worldwide generalities but compelling and informative case studies which highlight the complexities lying beneath the problem of species endangerment worldwide. Readers will find a wealth of informative and entrancing subject matter in this book. It can be unreservedly recommended.