Range mapping in butterfly books...

dragonflydeeJanuary 30, 2013

I was amazed to discover when I checked out the so-called "Range Map"
In the back of my new book Butterflies of Alabama that my county has no
Butterflies at all.So,for all who have read my posts on this forum I did not
Sneak in and release into my back yard boxes of butterflies so I could
Boast of their presence!!!(humor)Seriously,how did this happen?I love the
Book,and was so pleased that my state(rich in butterflies)now had a book
About the species we are blessed with.But the mapping was just barren.
I understand that verification is important if a book is a straight field guide.
Now,this book is very interesting,and lots of photography,and I would buy
It again.But if you read it the content is good within.The back is misleading.
I think more counties could have given input as to their butterfly sightings,and a lot of people flower garden in this state and there are
Butterfly Gardeners here,too.I would like to somehow fix this because
Of conservation interests.What does it take to "Verify"?

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Out of the 67 Alabama counties, how many were deemed by the book to have no butterflies, and how many counties would you expect this to be true of?

I can't think offhand why any U.S. counties would have no butterflies, unless there are counties that consist of only sand dunes or water. Perhaps your book has some author/editor contact information. Certain criteria must have been used.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 11:27PM
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I think you had better write a new book. One would expect an author to make note of lack of data in a clear manner, rather than lead the reader to believe something that is not true. Just because I have never been to Mexico, and have never seen any Mexican butterflies, does not prove there are no butterflies in Mexico.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:45AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

You can correct a lot of data shortage by getting in touch with the Lep society in your state. I goggled Alabama Lepidoptery and came up with the Southern Lepidopterist Society. Reports of sightings are done through local lep societies. Become a member and report your sightings. It requires a photo of a species, location, and date, for verification. And it may require a specimen. Also a society would like to know that you are a reputable sighter. That means you might need to attend meetings, counts, etc, or make contact with some of the members. I am an active participant in our local lep society. We are a yahoo group. I post sightings, and have added state and county records for moth and butterfly species. It's fun, and it's incredible to see your name in NABA's yearly records.

I also participate in state-wide butterfly counts. I've had some great people who have been willing to teach me in the past 6 years.

Any questions, please feel free to ask!


Here is a link that might be useful: My photo galleries

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:30PM
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I will start with Larry's post.My home county(Coffee)did not have any annotation for butterflies.There were 42 pages(counting front and back as
2 pages)with each page showing 2 maps outlining the state of AL. All the
Counties were crammed in.The drawings were very small with no room
To name the counties.The big map naming the counties was back on page
448.So I better just start with my county and Swallowtails(only single map
Page that starts the checklist).Anyway,I went thru every page that followed
Until the end of the checklist.No annotations for my county.I have a lot of
These butterflies.
So,I am seeing a lot of counties blank.Should they be blank?So,I would
Like to see more participation coming from the counties to give input.
The ladies who wrote the book stated the Butterflies and Moths of North
America Web site as a source for the range map.The site can not give
Accounts unless we give them input.I was not aware of the shortfall.
I want to make it better.
Thanks for posting and looking at the overall percentage of blanks will
Take more time.I am thinking there were too many blank counties.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Eric and Sandy,
Thanks for your input.Eric,I do not think the authors of the book intended
Any confusion for readers.The book has many,many merits.Also,as to
Sand and dunes Dauphin Island(below Mobile,Al)sort of fits that description
And being outstanding in support of birds also has(I have heard)interest in
Butterflies!So,yes we do in Alabama on the mainland have plenty of habitat
Countywide for butterflies.The data just needs to be brought forth.
Sandy ,I am going to try to get into a group.Thanks for checking abt!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 4:47PM
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molanic(Zone 5 IL)

If they used the BAMONA website for the range maps I can understand why the range maps are so incomplete. The sightings for my county in IL are very much lacking, especially with the moths which only had a handful listed. I have been submitting every sighting that I have that is not listed already for my county. It is strange because all the surrounding counties are much more complete. I wonder if they had manually entered in old sighting data (from before the website) and either didn't have log books available from my county or just didn't get to them yet.

I much prefer the guide books that have broader swath like national range maps even if they aren't 100% accurate. Then I think that if I am not far beyond the range it still a possible sighting but not as likely.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:05PM
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