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Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History (Princeton Field Guides) Paperback – August 14, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0691121444 ISBN-10: 0691121443 Edition: 1St Edition

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Frequently Bought Together

Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History (Princeton Field Guides) + Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America (Peterson Field Guides) + Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Field Guides)
Price for all three: $60.10

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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Field Guides
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1St Edition edition (August 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691121443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691121444
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A lusciously photographed book generally regarded as the most comprehensive field guide ever to caterpillars, as opposed to their better-documented adult forms--moths and butterflies. . . . In the book, the fruit of a decade's research, Dr. Wagner . . . argues passionately that creeping things can be every bit as mesmerizing and transporting as those that flit and dart in the air."--Andy Newman, New York Times

"This is a wonderful field guide for those interested in studying the fascinating world of caterpillars in the backyard, parks, woods and fields around us."--Robert E. Hoopes, Wildlife Activist

"David Wagner has produced a user-friendly field guide that goes well beyond anything else available."--The Quarterly Review of Biology

"As a teacher of the university courses in insect biology and classification, I will use this book heavily; yet it is attractive and simply written enough to be much more widely appealing for children, teachers, and indeed anyone with interest in naturally history. David Wagner is to be congratulated for communicating his knowledge of the Lepidoptera so clearly and appealingly to the rest of us."--J.B. Whitfield, Annals of the Entomological Society of America

"In general, the images of caterpillars and adults in this book are superb, the layout is attractive and easy to use, and the small-size format allows it to slip easily into a backpack for use in the field. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in Lepidoptera, but it should also find a place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in natural history, plant-insect interactions, or management of Lepidoptera pests (macros, anyway). It also will be very handy for anyone with inquisitive children (of any age) that pose that frequently asked question--What will it turn into?"--John W. Brown, Proceeds of the Entomological Society of Washington

"This is a fine, easy-to-use book that is sure to be in the hands of everyone interested in exploring their own gardens or nearby vacant lots, written to be understood by middle-school students as well as professionals. Very highly recommended!"--Biology Digest

From the Inside Flap

"This book adds to our understanding of caterpillars by providing a means to identify common caterpillars via excellent photos of early stages that are associated with photos of adults, and through snippets of natural history text for each species. This alone will generate enthusiasm for caterpillars among professional biologists and general readers interested in lepidoptera."--Philip J. DeVries, Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans, author of The Butterflies of Costa Rica and Their Natural History, Volumes I and II

"This book is an important contribution to the existing knowledge on the lepidoptera of North America, one that should spawn the gathering of new information. It fills a glaring gap in the popular literature on the continent's fauna."--Steven M. Roble, Staff Zoologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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See all 77 customer reviews
The color photos are beautiful and the text informative.
David B Richman
5 Stars, excellent field guide for Eastern caterpillar species.
DHawk
This book is well organized with great photos and information.
Margaret B. Plona

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 74 people found the following review helpful By George Boettner on September 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a fabulous work! No idea how Amazon, or the publisher, can make any money at this price...especially with over 1,200 color photos and over 500 pages long! Every photo is large and in perfect focus. Note that the bindings on the hardcover are much better than the paperback (I bought one of each) so I would suggest springing for the hardcover, as you will use this book a lot! Because Dr. Wagner has raised most of the species in this book, there is a ton of information on how to find a species, what to feed it, notes on strange behaviors...every page is a pleasure to read. I have worked in entomology for 20 years and I will always treasure this book. I tested this book on a 10 year old and she could ID caterpillars pretty well with it...but if you read this book from cover to cover it would be like getting a Ph D in caterpillars. Extremely easy read, and a pleasure to use. This book will do for caterpillars what Rodger Tory Peterson did for birds! Five stars plus!
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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By David B Richman on February 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Moth caterpillars are more numerous (moth species outnumber butterfly species 10 to one), but books to help you identify these are rare to say the least, and most of those that do cover moths as well as butterflies are both very technical and expensive. "Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History" fills the need (for the eastern part of the continent at least) for a reasonably comprehensive guide to both moth and butterfly larvae, with the moths not shortchanged. It can be helpful to a degree in the west as well, but I hope a western guide will soon grace the book stores. We still have no Peterson guide to western moths to match the eastern one!

The color photos are beautiful and the text informative. A perfect book to help the naturalist or anybody who is curious about the "worms" in their garden. I recommend it highly.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Lorena on February 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not too long ago in human history, people thought that caterpillars and butterflies were two entirely different critters. This book illustrates beautifully how different the pupual stage of the butterfly is from the adult! So many of us can identify a Monarch caterpillar, but how about a swallowtail or a sulphur? And, yeah, you know what a Gypsy Moth caterpillar looks like, and maybe even a Wooly Bear, but what do they TURN INTO?

The pictures in this book will tell you! I'll say that this book isn't for the rank beginner, they'd probably do better with "Caterpillars in the Field and Garden : A Field Guide to the Butterfly Caterpillars of North America". And neither is it a definitive guide to all the caterpillars (that book has yet to be written). But it fits the niche right in-between. The pictures of the caterpillars are great; true to life and color, although the adult pictures are small, taken from pinned, collected adults, which makes for sometimes faded specimens and could never be used as a field guide as most of the moths never fan their wings.

Moths are the primary reason to buy this book. If you've ever found a caterpillar in your garden and just don't know what it is, it's just as likely (if not sometimes more so) to be a moth as a butterfly. The beginner books don't include many moths, despite the fact that moth caterpillars can be just as colorful, and large!

The author gives a summary on each page of the more common species, what they look like, whether instars are different from stage to stage, range maps, and most importantly: WHAT THEY EAT. I'm not talking about whether you have to worry about finding these guys on your tomatoes, or in your cereal cabinet. Caterpillar species specialize on a certain type of food plant or plants.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mary Anne on November 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific field guide. 700 species of caterpillars of butterflies and moths are represented. All the moth caterpillars that you can't find anywhere else are in this book! Great photos, good organization. Lots of other helpful information is included, like habitat, common food plants, geographic distribution, and when they occur. Highly Recommended!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is probably one of the most useful and complete field guides, in any category, I have ever used. The 1000 plus photographs alone, are of such quality that they become almost works of art. Clear and very usable. I do a tremendous amount of photography of wildlife, flowere, insects, snakes, and all sorts of other critters. This is one of the field guides I always have handy, as it makes identification so very, very much easier. The book is well designed in that it is rather easy to find what you are looking for. Like another reviewer, I might suggest you go ahead and get the hard cover as it will last longer and this is certainly a book you will be using a lot if this is in an area of your interest. I do wish that all field guides, not matter what genre, could be of this quality and usefulness. Recommend this one quite highly.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By MJ on September 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
David Wagner's "Caterpillars of Eastern North America" is FANTASTIC. It is WONDERFUL. It is a MUST addition to your libraries. It's almost enough to make botanists give up plants and start looking for caterpillars. It's almost enough to make Auduboners give up bird watching and start looking for caterpillars. I am not kidding. I've already used it to identify the Canadian owlet, Calyptra canadensis, larvae eating the meadow rue in the prairie.

It is an amazing book with great photos and plenty of information. I cannot believe the amount of time, effort and work that went into this book. I "must" find some slug caterpillars. Buy this book and you won't have to turn on the TV for weeks!
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