Butterflies of British Columbia.


360 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Index
ISBN 978-1-55105-113-0
DDC 595.78'909711




Reviewed by Joan A. Lovisek

Joan A. Lovisek, Ph.D., is a consulting anthropologist and
ethnohistorian in British Columbia.


Great effort was put into the organization of this attractive practical field guide and reference book. It will be of interest to both the experienced and nascent lepidopterist. Sturdy and water resistant, this field guide will fit easily in a day pack.


The care and attention that was given to the exterior covers of the field book extends to the production of the beautiful colour illustrations of the butterflies. The author claims to have included every type of butterfly found in British Columbia. Given the number of butterflies recorded in this guide, it is difficult for the non-expert to dispute this. The book includes the Latin names of the butterflies accompanied by large illustrations. The size of the illustration is obviously a concern, for the author warns the reader to consult the wingspan measurement and not the size of the illustration to judge the dimension of the butterflies. One can only wonder if the author is really concerned that the large illustrations may be taken literally or lightheartedly!


The guidebook includes a Quick Reference Guide, which has coloured thumbnails coded by classification. This Quick Reference Guide is intended to allow the reader to quickly get to the specific specimen in the book for identification, presumably before the real specimen flutters by.


The introduction is supported by illustrations and photographs in which the reader can get an overview of names, identification, food sources, breeding, behaviour, and more. There is also a section in which the illustrator describes how he determined to best represent each specimen. The main body of the book includes descriptions and illustrations of each of the species. The markings, migration, history, and anatomy are explained along with points of interest specific to the species. Each description is subdivided into separate categories including: identification, similar species, caterpillar food plants, and habitat & flight season. As with all good reference books this field book includes a glossary, resources, checklist (for keeping track of sightings), scientific names, and an index of common names. Although anyone will find this a wonderful book to read and use, for those who study British Columbia butterflies, this handy guidebook is indispensible.


Acorn, John, and Ian Sheldon., “Butterflies of British Columbia.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/28084.