North Carolina Butterfly Photos
Photos by Will Cook of 150 species taken in North Carolina or adjoining counties in Virginia, with 15 additional species that have occured in NC but were photographed out of the region. North Carolina has a total of 177 species on the state list as of 2014.
Recommended Butterfly Books
Though web sites are helpful, it's much easier to learn how to identify butterflies by studying good books. There are so many available now, it can be difficult to figure out which ones to get. Here are a few to get you started. If you would like to help support this web site, please click on the images below to buy through Amazon.
Butterflies Through Binoculars: The East
Excellent photographic guide, recommended for beginners and backyard butterfliers, since there are fewer Western species to confuse you, but also a great reference for experts. Many folks start out with this guide, then move to others as their skills and interests develop. Does not cover south Texas. My primary guide.
Butterflies of North America
Fantastic comprehensive photographic guide aimed at beginners, but also very useful for experts. Covers all of North America north of Mexico, including south Texas. My other primary guide. I contributed one photograph to the 2003 edition.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies
A classic; the original guide with photos of living butterflies. The taxonomy is a little out of date, but that can be a useful thing since it has photos of former species that have since been lumped into subspecies, such as the Emperors of southern Texas. Great as a secondary reference.
A Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies
Not recommended. This book has paintings of specimens instead of photographs of living butterflies, which makes field identification difficult, especially for skippers. Outdated and discouraging to beginners.
Caterpillar Field Guides
A Field Guide to Caterpillars
A photographic guide to butterfly caterpillars. I don't have it yet, but it looks great!
Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History
Another photographic guide to caterpillars, but this one covers moths as well as butterflies. Again, I don't have it yet, but it should be a fantastic resource.
Butterflies of the East Coast: An Observer's Guide
A great new reference book for those seeking more than just identification. It has lots of great photographs, but is not a field guide.
The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide
Though a little out of date, this is still the standard reference book for those who want to know everything they can about the butterflies of North America, with comprehensive information and photographs of specimens. Not recommended for beginners and more useful for identifying specimens than live butterflies. By no stretch of the imagination is this great tome a "field guide"!
Butterflies of the Carolinas & Virginias
For those who would like a butterfly ID program to run on their computer, this new CD-ROM (not a book) offers comprehensive coverage for our region. I contributed several photos.
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