Book Review: Moths and Caterpillars of the North Woods
An interesting field guide is Moths and Caterpillars of the North Woods by Jim Sogaard (Duluth,MN: Kollath+Stensaas Publishing 2009). This guide focuses totally on moths, unlike other guides that also cover butterflies. It is part of the North Woods Naturalist series, and covers the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada. This is a really excellent guide because the pictures are very good, and the information is easy to understand. It even contains a natural history of moths, and has some information I didn’t know about, such as: butterflies are really a type of moth, and butterflies may have developed the ability to fly during the day in order to get away from moth-eating bats. Moths have been around since the time of the dinosaurs, and have developed many different colorings and defenses. Some of the moths are as brightly colored as butterflies, while others are camoflaged to look like tree bark. Some of the plain looking moths are very brightly colored as caterpillars, or have unusual tufts of hair. All in all this is an interesting book, because moths don’t seem to be talked about as much as butterflies. This is one of the reasons why the author wrote the book: he thinks that butterflies are great, but that moths are interesting as well, and deserve a book of their own.