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The FSC Caterpillars guide features the caterpillars all 60 wild butterflies found in Britain and Ireland.
Designed for speedy identification in the field, it includes beautiful colour paintings, shown at life-size, by acclaimed artist Richard Lewington. Both upper wings and under wings are illustrated, so you can identify butterflies in flight and at rest. Similar looking caterpillars are close to each other for easy comparison.
As well as the paintings, the reverse side of the Caterpillars guide includes concise identification notes for each species. This text covers the key characters to look out for, plus food plant, life-cycle, habitat and range. Also indicated are those species which now have legal protection in the UK.
Butterflies have a four-stage life cycle: egg-caterpillar-pupa-adult butterflies. While the eggs are difficult to find, it is often much easier to find the caterpillars. The food plant used by the caterpillar is a useful clue. Different caterpillars are found each month. Some spend the winter as eggs, hatching out in early spring. Others hatch in late summer, pupate in autumn, and emerge as adults in the following spring. Other species have more than one generation in a year, with over-wintering caterpillars.
The caterpillars identification guide covers all 60 species that you are likely to see. Another 10 or so species occur, but they are very scarce, so you are not likely to see them. This is a Second Edition of the FSC’s guide, with more species and text than the First Edition from 2001.