New Guinea, the world's second largest island, lies at the heart of the Australasian center of species diversity. The remarkable richness of species in the region is no more spectacularly evident than in its bewildering and beautiful array of butterflies. Michael Parsons presents, from his fifteen years of studying these butterflies, a comprehensive description of this butterfly fauna which describes and celebrates their evolution and ecology. The butterflies of New Guinea show how a single animal group can diversify to fully exploit the riches of a tropical rainforest environment. More than 958 species have been recorded so far, and each has developed a unique relationship to its environment, foodplants, predators, and competitors.
This book presents a valuable reference for both the amateur naturalist with an interest in butterflies and the evolutionary ecologist interested in the processes and results of adaptation. The book provides a background of the geography of New Guinea, the origins and characteristics of its butterfly fauna, and special considerations of New Guinea butterfly ecology and conservation. The 820 species recorded from Papua New Guinea and a checklist of the 958 species occurring in Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya as a whole are also discussed in detail. This book includes line drawings showing detailed identification points, color photographs of some 3000 specimens, and over 400 color photographs detailing aspects of life history and ecology. The Butterflies of Papua New Guinea presents a vital inventory of the present fauna, in addition to projections of the discovery of new species and the fortunes of those already in existence there.
- Examines butterflies as key indicators of environments under pressure
- Contains color photos of more than 3000 specimens
- Presents the first comprehensive review of the lives of New Guinea butterflies
- Includes over 400 color photographs from life
"This superb volume provides a comprehensive guide to the butterflies of Papua New Guinea. . . . Parsons has accumulated and summarized an impressive volume of data. This is an important contribution to our understanding of the New Guinea fauna and environment."--Stephen J. Richards, Quarterly Review of Biology
"The world of butterfly books includes many that are large, lavishly illustrated, richer in form than substance. However, this one is excellent. In addition to being an attractive book for butterfly enthusiasts, it will be a valuable resource on butterfly systematics and on the ecology and biodiversity of the Indo-Australian region in general and New Guinea in particular. An invaluable reference work."--Choice
"Michael Parsons' book is very useful reference work on New Guinea butterflies. But more than that, it is a great source of information for conservation biologists."--Michael Balke, Natural History Museum, Vienna
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Formerly published by Academic Press
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File created: 12/12/2013