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Review: ‘Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa’ by Steve Woodhall

The definitive field guide to SA butterflies (second edition)

Picture: Matthew T Rader/Unsplash

Review by Lesley Thomson

This excellent new edition of Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa is the only guide to cover all 671 butterfly species that occur in South Africa.

Fully revised and expanded, it includes notes on size, identification, habitat, flight periods and larval food sources, as well as notes on mimicry. Right at the beginning of the book is a simply explained section on how to use the guide, abbreviations used, and – most importantly – what is a butterfly?

Distribution and conservation

Information is included on South Africa’s biomes – the type of climate, dominant plants and animals for a region – distribution and conservation, photos of larva and eggs, quick reference to groups and sub families.

There are clear maps alongside each of the more than 2,000 superb full colour photographs of butterflies with wings open and closed, including if male and female are different, as well as underside and upper side.

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Steve Woodhall has produced a magnificent guide – one that is an invaluable resource for any naturalist or layman.

**ISBN 978 1 77584 – 587 4 – Published by Struik Nature/Penguin Random House. Rrp R400

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