So very much work went into this work that I sort of hate to mark it down, but down I must. After going through this fat little volume I kept feeling "what is the point." Yes, there are 500 pictures of butterflies in this volume, but as has been pointed out by another reviewer here, many, many of them are pictured with their wings closed, an oversight, that in my opinion, is a disaster. I suppose in some ways, I was sort of insulted by this. One of my hobbies, one that I have spent years at, is photographing various insects, plants, animals and critters in general. To photograph a butterfly with its wings unfolded takes a tremendous amount of work and a tremendous amount of patience and skill. To be quite frank, I seldom if ever even bother anymore to take a shot if the wings are no displayed. I must admit to being a bit insulted. I am a rank amature, and to be honest, some of my work is better than I found here.
Again, like another reviewer here, I was rather taken back that these beautiful insects were listed under their common name as headings. Now this would be fine if these were all North American butterflies, but few are. This made the information, if not useless, then difficult to find as the author did include the scientific name, but only added this information in the little text accompanying each photograph.
While the quality of the photographs are reasonable, they certainly not the best I have ever seen. Each photograph gives the scientific name (not in order), family, wing span (useful information), larval food plant (useful information), range (somewhat vague at times) and of course common name.
The representative butterflies come from 14 different families. Some from the 4,000 species found in Africa are represents as are some of the 8,000 from the American Tropics. Asian species are not as well represented as there are only 2,900 species found there.
All in all, this is a fine one to check out from the library, but I certainly would not lay down my hard earned money for a copy. There are certainly better works out there. I did give this one two stars simply for the effort though. It must have taken a lot of work putting this thing together.