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FIELD GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES OF SOUTH AFRICA (article first published : 2005-06-15)

At last, a field guide to butterflies in the same format as the successful bird guides of South Africa!

In Steve Woodhall’s Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa, there are full colour photographs of the male and female form accompanied by descriptive text. The photographs are especially helpful for the beginner as they show the butterflies with wings open and at rest. A quick colour-coded reference to butterfly subfamilies is also included.

The instructions on how to use the book and the descriptions of butterfly anatomy and classification are both clear and easy to understand. Of all insects, butterflies are probably the most popular and the guide gives fascinating information on the biology and life history of these beautiful little creatures.

All of South Africa’s more than 660 butterfly species are featured with details of identification, distribution maps, flight periods, broods and typical habitat.

Indigenous gardens are becoming fashionable in suburbs as well as in the cities and hopefully this will encourage the butterflies to re-establish themselves in urban areas. The guide gives the larvae food source, which could help in deciding which butterflies one would like to attract. Who would not be enchanted to have a Two-pip Policeman or a D’Urban’s Woolly Legs flitting around the garden?

This book is an excellent addition to the Field Guides of South Africa. Published by Struik Publishers in soft cover, the beautifully presented Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa retails at R199.95. - Sheina Wood




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