Cover image for A field guide to western butterflies
A field guide to western butterflies
Opler, Paul A.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 540 pages : color illustrations, maps (some color) ; 19 cm.
General Note:
Rev. ed. of: Field guide to western butterflies / James W. Tilden and Arthur Clayton Smith. 1986.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL551.W3 O65 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This all-new edition includes more than 590 species, illustrated in lifelike positions on beautiful new color plates. With descriptions of all the butterflies that occur west of the 100th meridian in the United States and Canada, this guide has accurate information on ranges, habitats, flight seasons, food plants, and more. Brand-new color range maps and more than 100 color photographs accompany the species descriptions. Paul Opler is the author of several books, including the Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies. He is a professor and senior research scientist at Colorado State University and a vice president of the North American Butterfly Association. Amy Bartlett Wright wrote and illustrated the Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars and illustrated the Peterson First Guide to Butterflies and Moths.

Author Notes

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.



American Copper Lycaena phlaeas Pl. 14 7?811?4 in. (2230 mm). Small. Sexes similar. Upperside: Forewing iridescent fiery red-orange; hindwing gray with red-orange border on outer edge. Underside: Hindwing gray with small black spots and zigzag red-orange submarginal line. SIMILAR SPECIES: (1) Ruddy and (2) Lustrous Coppers are similar in color but lack gray hindwing and marginal orange band. EARLY STAGES: Caterpillar varies from green to rose red; some have red stripe up middle of back. FOOD: Sheep sorrel, rarely curled dock, on plains east of Rockies; alpine sorrel in western mountains and Arctic. FLIGHT: MaySept. (2 flights) on plains; JulyAug. (1 flight) in West and Arctic. RANGE: Holarctic. In N. Amer. probably introduced from Europe to eastern half of continent. Native populations in Arctic and western alpine habitats from Alaska, Yukon, and arctic islands south discontinuously to cen. Calif., ne. Ore., Idaho-Mont. border, cen. Utah, and nw. Wyo. HABITAT: Introduced populations in waste lots and hayfields; native western populations on tundra and rocky alpine slopes. REMARKS: American Copper is a misnomer for the introduced eastern populations of this butterfly, but it is a traditional name of long standing. Excerpted from A Field Guide to Western Butterflies by Paul A. Opler All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Map of Area Coveredp. ii
Editor""s Notep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Prefacep. x
1 How to Use This Bookp. 1
2 About Butterfliesp. 4
Their structure, life history, and behavior
3 How to Study Butterfliesp. 14
Watching, photographing, and collecting
4 Butterfly Gardeningp. 20
5 Conservation of Butterfliesp. 24
6 Butterfly Distributionp. 27
7 Speciation and Variation of Western Butterfliesp. 30
Plates (See list on page xvi)p. 33
Species Accounts True Butterflies: Superfamily Papilionoidea
8 Parnassians and Swallowtails: Papili