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Moths of Western North America Hardcover – May 27, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0520251977 ISBN-10: 0520251970 Edition: 0th

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Moths of Western North America + Field Guide to the Common Bees of California: Including Bees of the Western United States (California Natural History Guides) + Field Guide to the Spiders of California and the Pacific Coast States (California Natural History Guides)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 383 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (May 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520251970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520251977
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,144,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A must have for those with a serious interest in the Lepidoptera of Western North America.”
(Scienceblogs.com/The Guardian 2011-07-18)

From the Inside Flap

"Two of North America's most prolific and respected specialists on moths—particularly those of the West—have combined over a century of experience and scholarship to introduce western moths of all families authoritatively to both the amateur and the experienced professional entomologist. This biologically oriented and beautifully illustrated treatment of a quarter of all known western moth species fills a long-needed void, and does it superbly."—Charles V. Covell Jr., author of A Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America

"This work sets a new high water mark for North American lepidopterology. Considering the authors' century of combined studies of western Lepidoptera, it is clear from the outset that no other team could have delivered a work so rich in taxonomic and life history information, much of it being original and appearing in the literature for the first time. I will read my copy more like a novel than a reference work, casting about the accounts and repeatedly flipping through the 2300 color images to better familiarize myself with our continent's rich and handsome diversity of moths. Moths of Western North America will serve as both gateway and catalyst for the study of moths for decades, and especially for microlepidopterans—for whom no like work exists in the New World."—David L. Wagner, author of Caterpillars of Eastern North America

"Recent years have seen a surge of interest in moths, with growing appreciation of their amazing diversity and their great ecological importance. Information on western moths has been scattered and scarce, however, so this new volume is a tremendous step forward. Jerry Powell and Paul Opler bring a vast amount of knowledge and experience to the subject, and their Moths of Western North America is a landmark publication, instantly indispensable to anyone with a serious interest in Lepidoptera."—Kenn Kaufman, coauthor of Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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So just buy the darned thing!
Scott Burgess
It is very well organized, has size reference lines for the micro moths, and has the names beside each plate.
billgarthe
This is a book that every student, collector and photographer of western moths will need, want and cherish.
Robert M. Patterson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Patterson on June 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that every student, collector and photographer of western moths will need, want and cherish. It is not only a beautiful book, a testament to the capabilities of University of California Press, it is a fitting monument to the careers of two fine lepidopteran scientists who bring to this work their combined 100 years of research and teaching experience.

This is not a field guide. It is a hefty hardcover book, 8-1/2 x 11 inches, with 64 beautifully printed full-color plates. About 370 pages are devoted to text, glossary and index, with another 130 pages for plates and facing caption pages. Fifty-eight of the plates display photographs of almost 2,350 specimens, and about 2,050 species. It is remarkable that 26 of the plates are given over to micromoths of about 1,075 species. This degree of attention to the micros, among which both authors have devoted much time, is by itself a tremendous contribution to the literature. Six plates depict mainly living larvae, but also adults and elements of life cycles such as leaf mines, tents and the like.

Sprinkled throughout the text are about 250 line drawings, mainly of the genitalia of exemplar species, giving an overview of the families and subfamilies. Where appropriate the authors also draw attention to defining characters of genitalia in the text, but this is not so extensive as to make reading difficult or uninteresting to the layman. Quite to the contrary, the text is relatively free of technical jargon and the stilted language of field guides where words and space may be considered to be at a premium. The writing in this book approaches that of delightful prose. Whether you are reading beside the living room hearth, in front of a field site campfire, or in a tiny cubicle at the lab, you are in for an enjoyable read.

The authors and UCP are to be congratulated and applauded for a very fine and worthwhile book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Scott Burgess on December 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having chased and photographed Lepidoptera for more than 40 years, I am overjoyed that Paul Opler and Jerry Powell put this volume together. For serious amateurs considering a purchase, let me outline your choices:

The previous definitive volume for all of North America, Holland's "The Moth Book" does a marvelous job of providing excellent color plates, drawings, and a great deal of species-specific data including food plants and species ranges in text form. Though it was first published in 1903, amateurs like myself have used the text for more than a century. However, much has changed since this text was published, including new species discoveries, renaming and reclassification of many species, changes in species range, and more. Used copies in softcover can be had inexpensively (~$10), and I even acquired this in digital format along with Holland's other volume "The Butterfly Book" for about $30. It is worth considering if you are on a strict budget and don't need the most current information. This is the only book which covers moths in the Western region well besides the new book.

An ambitious series titled "The Moths of America North of Mexico" was attempted beginning in the 1970s--the intent was to release fascicles to cover different families in detail. That project eventually collapsed, and the completed volumes are very expensive, while many key volumes were never completed. They are full of information, but tend to lack things amateurs desire. For most folks, they are best referenced occasionally at a university library.

This new text by Opler and Powell has all the best features of Holland's book, but better quality photo plates (with sizing guides for tiny species photographed at magnification), and more thorough descriptions.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gbo5 on July 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For such a comprehensive subject which includes so many different species this book is lacking in many regards. 1. No distribution maps. 2. Plates should be cross referenced to page number for text descriptions. 3. Plates should also include common names where applicable. 4. Would like to see more photos of larva, pupa, eggs, food plants and live adults preferably with main body of text. 5. Text description & information in general is minimal to say the least.

Although this book does include many of the smaller moths we take for granted, I would frankly rather see an updated version of "The Moth Book" (Moths of North America) and please include much of what I have described above.
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By Bill on December 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my grandson, and he is delighted with it. I am required to make this wordy, so here are the additional words to pass.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very comprehensive and the plates are quite detailed. This has been very helpful identifying several species this season.

There is also a section with caterpillar identification, but it's minimal.

I think the one area which would be nice but isn't included is larval food plant, however, this info is usually available online or with conjecture.
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