BOOK REVIEW: “Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs: Identification and Natural History of the Fireflies of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada”

Fireflies. Lightning Bugs. Who doesn’t love them. I vividly remember growing up in a place where fireflies were a rarity and to see one was a thrill. I remember catching them with my butterfly net and being fascinated by this small beetle with the light up butt. Because sightings were so few and far between, I kind of forgot the magic of seeing this amazing little insect. That is, until maybe two years ago.

9780820348728

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: “Native Host Plants for Texas Butterflies: A Field Guide”

What can I say? I love Texas! I am a Rhode Island native and in 2017 and 2018 I visited Austin and all of the night life it had to offer. During the day my girlfriend and I would go hiking, checking under rocks and logs for scorpions and tarantulas. In addition, we were always on the lookout for the local butterflies, hoping to see something we wouldn’t normally see in New England. One of my favorite parts of travelling is experiencing insects and arachnids that I’m not accustomed to.

IMG_9630

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: “Butterflies of North America” by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards

9781623439705_p0_v1_s1200x630

There are new books on butterflies coming out all the time and I usually find out about them accidentally, usually by them showing up as a recommendation on Amazon based on my search history. When the book “Butterflies of North America” came up I was really unsure how it was going to be. The feedback on Amazon was decent but as many people know, you cannot always rely on these reviews. Thankfully the reviews ended up being based in fact!

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: “Lepidopteran Zoology: How to Keep Moths, Butterflies, Caterpillars and Chrysalises” by Orin McMonigle

If you are a regular reader here then the name Orin McMonigle should not be new to you. I have read many of his books and even reviewed one of them HERE. Orin reminds me of myself on so many levels as I too have spent my life keeping live creepy crawlies and what he is doing is providing sound information for those like-minded people.

9781616464684_p0_v1_s550x406

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: “Goliath Birdeater: Goliath Birdeaters As Pets” by Adam Burton

I am not going to lie. When I found this book on Amazon I had really high hopes. I have been a keeper of tarantulas for over 40 years and over these years have amassed a decent library of books on tarantulas. The books vary from just ok to phenomenal with some being used as a constant reference source.

This biggest problem with tarantula books is that they try to cover a lot but have space constraints so in many cases, extremely detailed information ends up being lacking especially when it comes to individual species. My initial thought when seeing this book was, “Finally! Someone has written a whole book dedicated to a single species of tarantula!” I always thought individual guides on individual species would be priceless. In the case of this book, it just falls flat.

Scan0001

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: “Butterflies of Pennsylvania: A Field Guide” by James L. Monroe and David M. Wright

If you are a regular reader on here then you know that I love field guides. There are so many good ones out there that you just don’t know which one(s) to get. I have reviewed some of the better ones but to be honest, as good as they all are, none of them are perfect. Each field guide brings something pertinent to the table but they also miss the mark in other areas. I actually wish that someone would take the best elements of all of these guides and make one perfect guide.

Some guides try to be over ambitious, covering either the whole United States or just the east or west coast. These are all fine and good but the problem is, the more ambitious they are, the more likely they are to keep out important information because they want to minimize the overall size of the guide. Field guides are just that, guides meant to be used in the field. If they weigh ten pounds it makes it difficult to bring the book with you.

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: “The Book of Caterpillars” by David G. James

When I was approached in early 2015 to be a part of this book, I quickly agreed. How exciting would it be to be a part of a book that had not been attempted yet about one of my favorite subjects, butterflies and moths. Yes, there have been other books on caterpillars (most notably “Caterpillars of Eastern North America” by David L. Wagner and “Caterpillars in the Field and Garden” by Thomas J. Allen) but none can boast a world-wide variety of 600 species shown full size! That is exactly what “The Book of Caterpillars: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from Around the World” has done!

Continue reading