Cover

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Half Title, About the Author, About the Series, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotation, Frontispiece

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Contents

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xiv

Glimpses of Alabama’s butterfly populations have been few and far between. In 1838, Philip Henry Gosse was a young English naturalist on the brink of a renowned career. His eight-month foray into Dallas County left us with exquisite watercolor depictions of its common butterflies. Painted with homemade squirrel’s hair brushes, ...

Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xx

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The Focus

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pp. 1-12

The pages of this book are filled with images of butterflies. They draw our eyes and capture our attention. But what exactly are these creatures that we find so compelling? For at least two hundred years, taxonomists have answered that question by first defining general characteristics and then systematically moving toward the more specific. ...

Species Accounts and Family Overviews

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Using the Species Accounts

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p. 15

The eighty-four accounts that follow are designed to provide a glimpse of each species as we have come to know it through our years of field experience and our additional research. Although some of the information is rather technical, we have chosen to use “plain” language in these narrations so that they are accessible to those with various levels of knowledge. ...

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Swallowtails: The Papilionidae

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pp. 16-59

Swallowtails are attention grabbers. Large and showy, these elegant butterflies are also powerful fliers. Each of Alabama’s resident species have tailed hindwings that are reminiscent of a swallow’s long, forked tails—hence their familiar common name. ...

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Sulphurs and Whites: The Pieridae

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pp. 60-114

Sulphurs and whites are among Alabama’s most abundant and conspicuous butterflies. Collectively called pierids, with few exceptions, they are sun-loving nectar drinkers that coexist with people in gardens or other agricultural settings. ...

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Gossamer-Wings: The Lycaenidae

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pp. 115-207

The Gossamer-Wings or lycaenids seem tiny and fragile, but their demeanors belie their delicate appearances. They are often aggressive and pugnacious, particularly when defending territories and searching for mates. Like many other butterflies, lycaenid wings are covered with two types of scales. ...

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Metalmarks: The Riodinidae

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pp. 208-214

The Metalmarks or riodinids are named for glittering metallic markings that embellish their wings. These tiny butterflies often have wingspans of an inch or less, and the majority of their family members inhabit the tropics where they display dazzling colors and bizarre shapes. North American Metalmarks are considered plain in comparison, ...

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Brushfoots: The Nymphalidae

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pp. 215-392

Brushfoots are named for their small, furry forelegs. So reduced in size that these butterflies often appear to be four-legged, they are useless for walking, but function as sensors. These stunted appendages are one of the only characteristics that unify the widely diverse Nymphalid family. Within it are the longest-lived butterflies and the farthest travelers. ...

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Focus on the Future

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pp. 393-398

”Where are all the butterflies?” People often ask this question, and their fond reminiscences of childhood butterfly encounters usually follow. “Butterflies are still here,” we answer. “Open your eyes and really look. Plant more flowers in your garden; add some host plants, and you will see butterflies.” But nagging questions linger. Are butterflies really here in the numbers they were fifty years ago? Are they as widespread? ...

Plant and Animal Associates

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pp. 399-404

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Butterflies of Alabama: An Annotated Checklist

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pp. 405-448

Range Maps are based on information derived from the Butterflies and Moths of North America Web site, a searchable database of verified butterfly and moth records in the United States and Mexico, as well as our own observations and personal communications. The butterflies listed here appear in the same order as in the text. See page 448 for a key to Alabama’s counties. ...

Organizations

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pp. 449-450

Notes

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pp. 451-452

Glossary

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pp. 453-462

Resources

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pp. 463-468

Index

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pp. 469-486