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Field Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions

Field Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions

Text by Arthur M. Shapiro
Illustrations by Timothy D. Manolis
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Pages: 359
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  • Book Info
    Field Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions
    Book Description:

    The California Tortoiseshell, West Coast Lady, Red Admiral, and Golden Oak Hairstreak are just a few of the many butterfly species found in the floristically rich San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley regions. This guide, written for both beginning and experienced butterfly watchers by one of the nation’s best-known professional lepidopterists, provides thorough, up-to-date information on all of the butterfly species found in this diverse and accessible region. Written in lively prose, it discusses the natural history and conservation status for these butterflies and at the same time provides an integrated view of butterfly biology based on studies conducted in northern California and around the world. Compact enough for use in the field, the guide also includes tips on butterfly watching, photography, gardening, and more. * Discusses and identifies more than 130 species * Species accounts include information on identifying butterflies through behavior, markings, and host plants * Beautiful full-color plates illustrate top and bottom views of wings for easier identification * Includes a species checklist and a glossary

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94018-5
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    (pp. 1-80)

    Butterflies are members of the order Lepidoptera that belong to the superfamilies Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea. All other members of the order Lepidoptera are called moths by default. Usually butterflies are contrasted with moths, as shown in table 1. Every one of these generalizations about the differences between butterflies and moths has many exceptions, even in our own fauna. Although the most butterflylike moth family (Castniidae) has no representatives here, we have plenty of diurnal, brightly colored moths, some of which have somewhat-clubbed antennae (they taper to a club, rather than being abruptly clubbed). Most people take them for butterflies, just...


    • How to Use This Section
      (pp. 82-84)

      This book is specifically directed toward the Bay Area and Sacramento Valley. Every species that has been recorded from these areas is treated individually. The taxonomy broadly followsButterflies of North Americaby Jim P. Brock and Kenn Kaufman (2003). In a few cases I have deviated slightly from their usage, but these are flagged in the text. Where current literature employs significantly different common or scientific names for the same biological entity, I have included them all in the headings. Where there is substantial uncertainty about what the limits of species are, I use the term “complex” and explain...

    • Swallowtails and Parnassians (Papilionidae)
      (pp. 85-100)

      Only about 600 species of papilionids exist worldwide, but this family, which is much richer in the Tropics than elsewhere, contains many of the world’s most spectacular butterflies. Perhaps because they are so charismatic, perhaps because the numbers of species are manageable, the swallowtails have been very thoroughly studied from a phylogenetic standpoint—using both morphology and molecules—and we believe we understand the evolutionary history of the family pretty well. Many of the adaptive radiations in papilionid history appear to have followed a breakthrough into a new host plant “adaptive zone”—that is to say, by conquering new sets...

    • Whites, Orange-tips, and Sulphurs (Pieridae)
      (pp. 101-120)

      The pierids, like most butterflies, are very diverse in the tropics, but this family includes the most cold-adapted of all butterflies: sulphurs fly on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, whites and sulphurs reach the subantarctic in Tierra del Fuego, both groups extend above tree line in most of the world’s great mountain ranges, and a few whites reach nearly 5,500 m (18,000 ft) above sea level in the Andes and Himalayas! Our pierids are mostly medium-sized butterflies colored yellow, orange, or white with black markings. The pigments of the sulphurs belong to a unique class called pteridines, rarely found...

    • Coppers, Hairstreaks, Blues, and Metalmarks—The Gossamer-winged Butterflies (Lycaenidae)
      (pp. 121-166)

      This is the largest family of butterflies, with over 6,000 species worldwide—and counting. New species are being discovered all the time, and not just in the tropics: a new blue was found in California and named as recently as 1998!

      Lycaenids are small to (at most) medium-sized butterflies. Many have relatively small bodies and fragile-looking wings (hence “gossamer-winged”). Both the adults and the early stages have many distinctive anatomical traits that set them off from all other butterflies. Males have the forelegs moderately reduced and clawless; females have six fully developed legs. The base of the antenna is adjacent...

    • Brushfoots (Nymphalidae)
      (pp. 167-218)

      The nymphalids comprise some 350 genera and nearly 6,000 species, rivaling the lycaenids as the largest butterfly family. But they are much more diverse in appearance and biology than the lycaenids. Currently 10 subfamilies are recognized, most of which have been (and by some authorities still are) considered families in their own right. The subfamilies represented in our fauna are the Heliconiinae, which are now construed to include the fritillaries; the Nymphalinae, which include the crescents and checkerspots as well as the tortoiseshells, ladies, and their relatives; the Limenitinae, represented in our fauna by Lorquin’s Admiral(Limenitis lorquini)and the...

    • PLATES
      (pp. None)
    • Skippers (Hesperiidae)
      (pp. 219-250)

      The hesperiids form a large (more than 3,500 species) worldwide family of mostly small to medium-sized butterflies. This family has several subfamilies, but only three occur in our area: the spread-wing skippers (Pyrginae), skipperlings (Heteropterinae), and branded skippers or grass skippers (Hesperiinae). Most hesperiids have a distinctive recurved hook, the apiculus, at the end of the antennal club. Most have relatively large, muscular bodies relative to wing size, and rather broad heads. The common name “skipper” refers to their mode of flight, but many variations on the theme can be seen—some are very indolent, while others are among our...

    (pp. 251-276)

    A couple of decades ago books like this devoted several pages to basic collecting techniques. In fact, collecting was the only recreational activity generally associated with butterflies. The cultural climate has changed, however, and nowhere more so than in our geographic area. The era of hobby collecting is effectively over. The general perception is that living organisms are not appropriate objects for collection, especially when so many species seem to be disappearing. There has been bitter controversy over whether collecting constitutes a threat to endangered populations or species. Whether it does or not, the psychic income derived from traditional collecting...

    (pp. 277-288)
    (pp. 289-302)
    (pp. 303-308)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 309-345)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 346-346)