1 Tahrcountry Musings: Book Recommendation - Butterflies – Messages from Psyche

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Recommendation - Butterflies – Messages from Psyche

Here is a great book on butterflies, a book which has been described as most visually exciting book of the year by Simon Barnes of The Times.  Philip Howse makes an attempt to decode the colours, patterns, and designs on the wings of butterflies and moths. He explains how these living tapestries have been designed by evolution to protect insects from their principal predators, including birds, lizards, and monkeys.

Surprising images are revealed if we look at the details of pattern on a butterfly in the way that a bird sees it from different angles. These are features of owl eyes, snake heads, caterpillars, lizards, wasps, scorpions, and bird beaks and they carry very complex meanings.

Here are two examples from the book. The Atlas moth, found in the subtropical forests in south East Asia which has wingspans of up to 12 inches, has brightly coloured bands which make it look like a snake's head. The giant owl butterfly, Caligo memnon, found in the rainforests of Mexico and the Amazon, has a large black and yellow spot on its wing which looks like the head of a toad.
This is a book worth the bucks you spend on it.

Butterflies – Messages from Psyche
Philip Howse
Paperback (192 pages)
Publisher: Papadakis,UK
ISBN 97819010902806

1 comment:

Ramesh said...

That is a good recommendation. Never heard about this book even though I am am a butterfly buff