If you are interested in Natural History of neotropical leps, then you should have these two books. My copies reside in my throne room, where I can spend a few minutes with them each and every day.
100 Caterpillars: Portraits from the Tropical Forests of Costa Rica and 100 Butterflies and Moths: Portraits from the Tropical Forests of Costa Rica
- by Jeffrey C. Miller (Author), Daniel H. Janzen (Author), Winifred Hallwachs (Author)
They are sold as coffee table books, based on the photos of 100 species in each volume by Miller. They are ok photos, and both books have both adults and larvae figured for each species.
But the reason to really own these is the text for each species, written by Janzen and Hallwacks. Together with their on-site crew of dedicated caterpillar rearers, that have raised 100's-of-thousands of cats, and Janzen's insights into evolutionary ecology are simply amazing. Janzen, as one of the true pioneers of coevolutionary theory and mutualisms in the tropics, gives you a brain dump for each species - primarily about why it looks like it does, and how that relates to it's ecology and life history.
To me these volumes are a wealth of evolutionary and natural history - yet no-seems to know about them! For example - I just saw a classified add claiming for Memphis Proserpina - that This rare species has never been bred, as host plant is unknown, and early life history is unknown. And yet - there is a photo of the cat and the three documented hostplants where the larvae are commonly found in Costa Rica. Given that like you said - these books are almost free on the internet - I'm amazed that they have not been more widely read.
I received my copy in the mail yesterday - cost was less than $4, plus a couple bucks shipping. It's a lovely production, with far more text that I'd expected from a book of this sort. Excellent value for money! Thanks for the heads-up, John.
Post by papilio28570 on Apr 30, 2016 23:44:35 GMT -8
Received both books just a few days after ordering them. Bought the caterpillar book for a penny plus 3.99 shipping. I read a little from each book every time I'm in the "throne room". The photos are superb and the text is very instructive. A lot of insightful information about adult and caterpillar coloration and form. Fascinating reading...
Highly recommend both books to everyone's lep library. Thank you also, John.