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Common Butterflies and Skippers of Eastern North America
By Dick Walton and Greg Dodge
Brownbag Productions, 2004
ISBN: 1888814101
Cite: 3988 with citation markup [cite:3988]
Another spiffy insect DVD from Brownbag Productions, similar in format to their odonate DVD. Lovely video of 70 species of butterflies (including many common skippers) with narration describing field marks and habitat. Very thorough discussions of those species covered, showing subtle field marks and discussing color variations in some cases. I found the coverage of skippers, my nemesis, to be particularly helpful. Has a good description of Monarch migration. "Topography and glossary" in the "Resources and References" section is very handy. I like the annotated photos showing details of butterfly anatomy.

An excellent introduction to butterflies and skippers. Beginners and intermediate-level butterfliers will find it useful for learning. More advanced butterfliers will find it a helpful review. I have only a few caveats:

1-The menu system seems to have some problems on older DVD players, though the problems can be worked around with the remote buttons. DVD works fine on my new portable player. Such incompatibilities do crop up on DVD's occasionally.

2-A booklet would be nice listing the species and sections of the DVD, plus the anatomy diagrams, but of course that would add to the cost. (Similar material is available through the menu system, and it can probably be printed out.)

3-I wish the authors had put all of the "big, blue, and black" Pipevine Swallowtail mimics together in sequence. They discuss this complex, and show several, but have it a bit broken up. Still, a minor point.

Brownbag Productions--DVD is apparently available directly from them, for $25 plus shipping/handling.