Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

A Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – April 15, 1999

ISBN-13: 004-6442791519 ISBN-10: 0395791510 Edition: Second Edition

18 New from $52.57 43 Used from $2.68
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, April 15, 1999
$52.57 $2.68
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Frequently Bought Together

A Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) + A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians (Peterson Field Guides) + Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America: Fourth Edition (Peterson Field Guides)
Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Peterson Field Guides (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Second Edition edition (April 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395791510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395791516
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This guide complements Alexander Klots's classic Field Guide to the Butterflies (1951). Largely following the sequence Klots sets up, it covers 512 species occurring west of the 100th meridian from Coahuila, Mexico, to the Arctic, and including Hawaii and Alaska. Research through 1983 has been incorporated. Excellent short opening chapters on studying butterflies, conservation, life cycle and physical structure, and zoological classification lead into the guide's species accounts, with photographs grouped in the center of the book. Many species included occur throughout the United States, making it a worthwhile addition to most library collections. Laurie Tynan, Huntingdon Cty. Lib., Pa.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gentle Reader on November 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
In the first part of this excellent field guide, families of butterflies are presented together on color plates, ably illustrated by Amy Bartlett Wright. This allows the reader to compare similar looking species--a must with hard-to-differentiate groups like the Blues, where minute differences mean the difference between one genus and another. The illustrations are cross-referenced to fuller descriptions in the second part of the book. Here there is additional information about appearance, food, habitat, flight, and range. As a beginner, I especially like author Paul Opler's decision to organize the butterflies by taxon rather than appearance. As I identify butterflies in the field, I am also learning a bit about the science of these beautiful creatures. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David B Richman on July 5, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A Field Guide to Western Butterflies" by Paul Opler is the book I use as a standard when taking part in the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) 4th of July Butterfly Count. It is by far the best book to use in the field. I prefer the artist's illustrations to a totally photographic approach for accurate identification because several aspects of the same species can be shown on a given plate. In addition there are a number of complementary photos of butterflies in natural habitats inserted in the text and distribution maps are placed next to the species descriptions.

The discussions are very useful in locating food plants and in confirming field marks and distributions. Most of the time even tiny lycaenids and difficult skippers are usually identified easily once you get used to the format. All in all this is the book to have for identifying butterflies in the west and it outshines all its competitors for handiness in the field. Combined with a pair of short-focus binoculars and a good butterfly net for capture and release it just cannot be beaten.

I found only one problem with this book, which is also true of other guides. Occasionally an illustration is slightly off in color or shows a more idealized pattern than seen in the field. In such cases (especially with some of the skippers and blues) identification is more difficult.

That said if you are a butterfly watcher in the west you really need to own this book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Mitton on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Unlike some other reviewers I have always liked the Peterson guides best and this is no exception. The emphasis of the book is not simply on sight identification (which can be difficult at best) but also on a rounded education about the world of butterflies.

The first several chapters cover butterfly habitat, life history, behavior and other things helpful for the collector or student. The main chapters are divided by common names with each sub-heading giving both common and scientific names. The butterflies are described according to range, size, and habitat, and there is typically some discussion of the insects' identifying peculiarities.

This isn't the best guide for someone wanting to identity bugs in their garden - other guides have much better and many more photos - but for the general student this is the best.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Hill on February 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great companion to A Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies. Since many U.S. species are found in both the East and in the West, this book is a must have if you really plan to study and/or collect butterflies found in the United States. I started collecting butterflies in the 1950's. The Peterson Field Guide books are extremely well done and are updated every few years.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again