Book Review: Butterflies in the Garden, by Brenda Dziedzic

Butterflies in the Garden is a treasure that will delight both the beginner and advanced butterfly enthusiast.  How can it appeal to both?  Because it has close to 300 pages  packed with the life cycles of more than 30 of the most common butterflies and moths, with such informative and stunning photographs (more than 500!) that many people will get the information they need without even reading the text!   Most species include a range map, and a photo of the adult butterfly, including the male and female if they look different. 

Some caterpillars look different each time they molt.  If that’s the case, you will see all the instars, which is very helpful when you find a caterpillar.  Most of the field guides show only the last instar.  Dziedzic satisfies the scientists among us by including latin names, anatomy charts, wing measurements, days to complete each stage, flight season, number of broods, and how they overwinter.  The wingspan measurement is handy for those tiny butterflies that look the same size as the big ones, when you see them in photographs in other books.

One detail I love is that virtually all the host plants for each species are listed, with their common and latin names.  This makes them so much easier to find at the nursery.

One  of the extras in this book are which TREES to have in your garden, and how to keep them in pots!   Another is short lesson on how to raise the eggs and caterpillars you will find in your yard, once you provide the host plants.

Learn About Butterflies in the Garden is an important part of my small reference collection.  I refer to it regularly.   You can get your signed copy from http://www.butterfliesinthegarden.com/Pages/PurchaseBook.aspx , or unsigned from your favorite retailer.  A real bargain at $20 US.