Butterfly and Butterfly Gardening Books

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The following are the books I have and the ones I recommend. Over time I will review more books and add them here.



Butterfly Books


The Butterflies of North America

by James Scott 1986

This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to learn more about North American butterflies! It's divided into three parts:

Part 1: Biology and Ecology

This section is 118 pages long and includes all you would want to know (and more!) about butterfly life cycle, reproduction, flight, migration, behavior, genetics and much more.

Part 2: Identification of Eggs, Larvae, Pupae and Adults

The title of this part pretty much describes it.

Part 3: The Butterflies

This part goes through every butterfly species in N. American, divided by families. For each butterfly it gives range information, a detailed list of host plants and more.


In addition the middle part of the book has 64 colored pages with pictures of butterfly eggs, caterpillars and adult butterflies. The Appendix includes sections about collecting, raising and breeding butterflies. The book also includes a hostplant catalogue which lists each host plant mentioned in the book and each butterfly that uses that host plant. Very handy for butterfly gardeners!


The only thing about the book that may be less than ideal for many people it that the colored pictures don't work real well as a field guide to identify a butterfly you see briefly flying around. The pictures only show wings on one side (to save space), this is great to identify butterflies in collections or photographs, but not the best book to carry around outside to identify butterflies that fly briefly through your yard.



Butterflies and Moths of Missouri

by J.Richard and Joan E. Heitzman

This book works as an excellent field guide for anyone living in or near Missouri. Downside is it includes very little information about host plants.



Plant Books

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers - Eastern Region

A wildflower and tree field guide can be helpful to anyone interested in butterfly gardening, especially if you have an interest in caterpillars or raising them. I used this book many times when walking in common areas near our house to identify the plants growing there. Some plants are hard to find places that sell them, so if you can identify a plant growing wild, you can always take some seeds from it and grow your own.



National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees - Eastern Region

As mentioned above, field guides can be very useful for butterfly gardeners. This one has reallly helped on a few occasions.



Missouri Wildflowers

by Edgar Denison

If you live in or near Missouri this book would be really helpful. Not only does it have pictures and descriptions of many wildflowers growing in the area, it also includes information about basic plant biology and classification.





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