This work has all of the features that make field guides to a region's butterfly fauna useful to anyone with a serious interest in that fauna. . . . the book is a bargain and a must for anyone with an interest not just in Pennsylvania's fauna, but the northeast fauna as a whole.
How do you tell a Striped Hairstreak butterfly from a Regal Fritillary butterfly? By using Butterflies of Pennsylvania, the most comprehensive, user-friendly field guide to date of all of the species ever recorded within Pennsylvania’s 46,056 square miles. Over 900 brilliant color photographs illustrate both the upper and under side of male and female specimens of each species, including skippers. Information on distinguishing marks, traits, wingspan, habitat, larval host plants, and handy facts offer assistance for field identification. The images depict the species in their native environments, as well as finely detailed museum-quality mounted specimens. County-by-county maps show where each species has been recorded within the state, and graphs detail when they are present and most likely to be seen. Butterflies are arguably the most recognized, studied, and beloved of all insects. They are essential to healthy ecosystems, agricultural viability, and ultimately human and animal survival. Butterflies of Pennsylvania will serve as a handy reference for a broad readership including students and educators, backyard butterfly enthusiasts and gardeners, conservationists and naturalists, public and school libraries, entomologists, lepidopterists, and butterfly watchers in general.
This guide is tailor-made to suss out the vagaries of cloudywings or little brown job skippers from photos, notes or sketches made in the field. That's where the 900+ color photographs of pinned (not field) specimens outshines every other field guide available for the mid-Atlantic, and where subtle differences in eye color or wing pattern or flight time can be studied and weighed in comparison. I can't think of a better resource for the photographer-naturalist with an interest in butterflies. It fully deserves its recognition as a winner in the 2017 National Outdoor Book Awards in the field book category.
James L. Monroe is a research associate at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity in Gainesville, Florida, and is professor emeritus of physics at Pennsylvania State University, Beaver. His butterfly photographs have appeared in Nature’s Best Photography, American Butterflies, Butterfly Gardener, and numerous other journals.
David M. Wright is chairman of patient safety and quality council at Abington Health-Lansdale Hospital in Pennsylvania. He is an anatomical and clinical pathologist who has published extensively on the butterflies of Pennsylvania and neighboring states. His papers have appeared in American Butterflies, Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society, The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera, and numerous other journals.