Field Guide to Butterflies of Seychelles: Their Natural History and Conservation
by James M. Lawrence (paintings by Malinda Crafford-Venter)
Siri Scientific Press (2014) 978-0-9574530-9-8 RRP £15.99
128 pp, 210 x 148 mm, soft cover, colour illustrations, distribution maps and plates for all species
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Tropical Lepidoptera Research (2017, 27(1): 59 - snippets) "Despite having only 36 species of butterflies, these insects display all the classical dramatic elements of island biogeography, from long-distance dispersal to enigmatic endemism, tramp species to recent extinctions, along with some intriguing taxonomic mysteries thrown into the mix. While I am usually not a great fan of paintings in field guides, these are exceptionally well done, beautifully ... detailed and life-like, almost indistinguishable from a perfectly prepared fresh specimen, which were presumably not available for many taxa. Diagnostic characters are helpfully indicated on these paintings, which are also grouped into plates at the end of the book. ... This field guide sets out what is known of this small but intriguing island fauna and challenges us to find out more. Whether it is hunting for supposedly extinct taxa or documenting new life histories, finding new distributional and phenological data or making simple observations of behavior, there evidently remains much to be learned of the butterflies of this beautiful nation."
Metamorphosis (2015, abridged). This very well thought out and put together little book describes and illustrates the 36 or so species of butterfly ever recorded or described from the Seychelles archipelago. The research on the book has also pulled out obscure literature on some strange endemics (some extinct or on the brink of extinction). The author and illustrator should be highly congratulated on the layout and structure of this little handbook. It cannot fail to attract the butterfly enthusiast. As there is more and more interest into the butterflies of the Afrotropical Region and the surrounding islands this is a must for any serious student. Well done and thank you James and Malinda on an outstanding piece of work.From the back cover
Designed for easy use in the field, Field Guide to Butterflies of Seychelles: Their Natural History and Conservation, features all 39 species and subspecies so far recorded from the Seychelles Archipelago. Of these 39 taxa, three are considered extinct, with a further five either non-resident or very rare. Of particular interest are the endemic species and subspecies of which there are eight in Seychelles: Euploea mitra, Euploea rogeri, Phalanta philiberti, Colotis evanthe evanthides, Papilio phorbanta nana, Belenois aldabrensis, Eurema floricola aldabrensis and Borbo borbonica morella.
Photographs of living butterflies of most species, and oil paintings of all species make identification simple. Furthermore, all butterflies are illustrated in a series of 14 plates, which will help with the identification of similar-looking taxa. A brief account of the habits, flight periods, habitat, distribution, larval food plants, and taxonomy (where applicable) of each taxon is provided.
The detailed introductory section discusses Seychelles geography, climate, vegetation and butterfly biology, including taxonomy, life cycle, adult intraspecific variation, mimicry, biogeography and conservation. An index to scientific and common names is included.
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