With habitats ranging from sea level to over 3,800 meters, the small Neotropical country of Costa Rica encompasses more than fifteen distinct life zones and contains a large percentage of all the butterfly species known from Central America. In this field guide, a sequel to the volume on Papilionidae, Pieridae, and Nymphalidae, Philip DeVries provides the first detailed treatment of over 250 species of Costa Rican butterflies in the family Riodinidae. Drawing from his extensive fieldwork, museum research, and surveys of scientific literature, DeVries presents the means to identify riodinid butterflies to the species level and gives an overview of their natural history. This guide illustrates nearly all of the Costa Rican species in color and provides a large sample of detailed line drawings and scanning electron micrographs of riodinid early stages for the first time ever. The book's coverage makes it useful for identifying riodinids throughout Mexico, Central America, and substantial portions of South America.
The introductory chapter brings together a large body of material that applies directly to understanding riodinid butterflies in general. The taxonomy, distribution, and natural history of each taxon is discussed in detail. The author also provides sections on ecology, evolution, behavior, symbioses with ants, caterpillar acoustical calls, systematics, collecting and preserving, hostplant relationships, and the comparative diversity of riodinid butterfly faunas. A section on butterfly biologists of the last century provides a historical perspective to the basis of our understanding of Neotropical butterflies.
"Invaluable to anyone studying the butterflies of the Neotropics."--New Scientist
"A massive storehouse of superb natural history. For butterfly collectors and naturalists generally, there are excellent pieces about the study of natural history, conservation in the neotropics, and the preservation of biological diversity. New students and seasoned scholars alike will find generous suggestions of research projects--even in the individual species accounts."--Henry S. Horn, Princeton University
File created: 8/31/2016