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We have a real treat for you this week. Our good friends, Butterflies of Alabama photographer Sara Bright and nature writer Paulette Haygood Ogard, have chosen a series of photographs from their incredible book for us to publish over the next few days.
Here is a description of Butterflies of Alabama.
Butterflies of Alabama is a full-color, richly illustrated volume about the 84 known, true butterfly species found within the state’s borders. For more than 14 years, the authors have made a close study of these insects, locating them in a great variety of habitats, observing them, and photographing their remarkable life cycle stages—egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalid), and adult.
Color photographs of live subjects in their natural habitats accompany each species account. Close-ups reveal fascinating details of camouflage, mimicry, warning coloration, and other predation-escape devices. The engaging text explains the highly evolved relationships between butterflies and the plants upon which they depend as well as the specialized adaptations that enable their survival within specific environmental niches. Included are range maps, flight times, caterpillar host plants, adult nectar sources, and identification tips—abundant information to tantalize budding as well as experienced butterfly watchers. Pertinent conservation issues are also addressed and appendices provide an annotated checklist of the state’s butterflies, a list of accidentals and strays, information on butterfly organizations, and recommended reading.
With its conversational, non-technical language, simple format, and beautiful images, Butterflies of Alabama is accessible and appealing to anyone who appreciates Alabama’s amazing natural wealth.
Our first photograph is a stunning picture of the Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar.
Excerpt from Butterflies of Alabama:
“Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars are engineers as well as imitators. Very young larvae construct protective shelters by chewing small flaps into leaves, which they bend and secure over themselves. Older caterpillars fold leaves in half and lay down a pad of silk. Dying threads shrink, causing leaves to curl into tubes. When not eating, the small architect rests inside, only its google-eyed false face visible from the opening.”