The Butterflies of Venezuela
American Butterflies (USA) Vol. 18 (2010)
Boletín científico. Museo de Historia Natural. Universidad de Caldas (Colombia) No. 13 (2009)
Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (France) Vol. 114 (2009)
Butterflies (Teinopalpus) (Japan) No. 52 (2009)
European Journal of Entomology (Czech Republic) Vol. 107 (2010)
Florida Entomologist (USA) Vol. 92 (2009)
Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society (USA) Vol. 64 (2010)
SHILAP Revista de Lepidopterología (Spain) Vol. 38 (2010)
American Butterflies (Magazine of the North American Butterfly Association) (USA)
Vol 18 No 1, p. 45, Spring 2010
“This book .. contains a wealth of detail about the 196 butterfly species treated, including a tremendous amount of valuable information never before published. The author used his extensive stays in Venezuela to develop a deep knowledge of the Venezuelan butterfly fauna and in this book he shares his knowledge with the reader.”
“… providing a great boon to butterfliers, unlike most existing regional books showing specimens, both the upperside and underside of most specimens are shown.”
“It goes almost without saying that if you intend to go butterflying in Venezuela, this book (and the previous volume) is a must have (I’m assuming that if you can afford to travel to Venezuela that you can also afford the book). But, are there other reasons to purchase this book? Yes. The book will also be useful to those who travel to surrounding South American countries. Actually, since many of the species treated in this work are found throughout the Neotropics, including Mexico (although usually as different subspecies) the book will be of interest to anyone travelling south of the United States.”
North American Butterfly Association
Boletín científico. Museo de Historia Natural. Universidad de Caldas (Colombia)
No. 13 (2009), pp. 231-232
"Esta serie ... puede considerarse como una de las mejores realizadas sobre la fauna de mariposas de un país suramericano. En efecto, es una obra magistral lograda por un solo autor pero ayudado esporádicamente por colaboradores venezolanos y extranjeros que en su momento consideran diferentes grupos dentro del tratamiento taxonómico. La calidad de Mariposas de Venezuela es tal que a decir de muchos, roza la perfección en cuanto a la taxonomía y las laminas presentadas impecablemente. El autor no escatimó esfuerzo alguno en poder mostrar con todo detalle las especies de mariposas que vuelan en Venezuela ... Andrew, seguro inspirado por legendarios naturalistas ... llenó las expectativas de [sus] lectores ..."
This series ... can be regarded as one of the best works on the butterfly fauna of any South American country. It is a masterpiece produced by a single individual helped occasionally by Venezuelan and foreign collaborators across a range of distinct taxonomic groups. The quality of The Butterflies of Venezuela is such that many say the taxonomy and plates achieve near-perfection. The author spared no effort to give us every available detail on all the species which occur in Venezuela ... Andrew, surely inspired by legendary naturalists ..., has satisfied the expectations of his readers ..."
"No sobra decir que Neild, al aventurarse a producir en solitario estos libros de calidad, lesionó su economía a riesgo de perder afectos familiares y conyugales. Todo lo anterior en favor del público que satisfecho lo ha elogiado ampliamente; ojalá repita hacia el futuro otros volúmenes adicionales sobre Mariposas de Venezuela."
Needless to say, Neild's solo venture to produce these quality books risked harming both his finances and his family life - all of this for the benefit of his readers. Satisfied, they have repaid him well with widespread praise.
Museo de Caldas
Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France (France)
Vol. 114 (2009), pp. 280 & 360
"Phil DeVries insiste dans sa préface sur la "richesse" dans ce travail, richesse biotique de pays, richesse de la faune mais aussi richesse des données recueillies au cours du l’énorme effort bibliographique d'Andrew Neild."
Phil DeVries remarks in his preface on the "richness" and "wealth" in this work - the biotic richness of the country, the richness of its butterfly fauna, and the wealth of data gleaned from the mass of bibliographic sources consulted by Andrew Neild.
"Ce volume traitant en premier lieu des Acraeinae, je me suis bien évidemment intéressé aux 26 pages qui leur sont dédiées ... [L'Auteur] traite ainsi de tous, ou presque, les problèmes attenant aux Acraeines. J'ai ainsi appris bien des choses concernant mes Insectes préférés."
This volume begins with a treatment of the Acraeinae, hence I am obviously interested in the 26 pages that are dedicated to them ... [The author] treats all or substantially all of the problems concerning the acraeines. I learned so many things about my favorite insects.
"Apres encore de nombreuses réflexions et considérations, démontrant le sérieux, la curiosité et la démarche scientifique rigoureuse de 1'auteur, après une clé, difficile a réaliser pour ces espèces tres variables et tres semblables, arrive alors la partie "liste des espèces", signée de Neild & Romero."
After numerous reflections and considerations [on the Acraeinae], demonstrating the seriousness, inquisitiveness, and rigorous scientific approach of the author, there follows a key - a difficult achievement for these highly variable and very similar species - and then the "Species Accounts".
"Combien de fois me suis-je insurgé, en utilisant un "guide de papillons" ou de tous autres organismes, en lisant une faune, un catalogue . . . de voir citer les binoms des différentes espèces, sans préambules, sans présentations de noms supérieurs dans la classification, du niveau famille, du niveau genre. C'est donc une grande satisfaction de voir que cette faune « The Butterflies of Venezuela" est réellement un guide raisonne comme 1'indique son sous-tire."
How many times have I been frustrated when using a "guide to butterflies" or to any other organism, when reading a faunistic work or a catalogue, to see quoted the binomial names of different species, without preamble, presentation, or explanation of the higher names in the classification at family or even genus level. It is therefore a great satisfaction to see that this faunistic work "The Butterflies of Venezuela" is indeed a well-reasoned and comprehensive guide as it's subtitle indicates.
"Ici les différents taxons sont étudies tres complètement, du point de vue de la morphologie, habitus et génitalias (correctement illustres, ce qui n'est pas courant), de la biogéographie, du comportement, des plantes nourricières ..."
Here the different taxa demonstrate evidence of comprehensive study, in terms of morphology, habitus, and genitalia (correctly figured, which is not common), biogeography, behaviour, host plants, etc.
"Ce texte, pour les Actinote, est accompagné de 128 photos de demi-spécimens, recto, verso, en taille réelle, avec suffisamment d'exemples pour chaque taxon illustré, illustrations de grande qualité quant à la finesse et au rendu des couleurs."
This text, for Actinote alone, is accompanied by 128 pictures of half-specimens, dorsal, ventral, and full size, with more than enough examples for each taxon illustrated; these illustrations are of high quality with regard to their detail and colour rendering."
"Sur ce dernier chapitre, j'ai demande son point de vue a Patrick Blandin ; son sentiment rejoint complètement mon impression sur 1'ouvrage: « L'étude des espèces du genre Morpho représentées au Venezuela témoigne d'une connaissance approfondie de l'ensemble du genre, appuyée sur un travail bibliographique considérable et sur la consultation de nombreux types. Mais Andrew Neild n'apporte pas que des données d'ordre systématique et biogéographique. II a rassemble une riche information sur la biologie, les plantes-hôtes, les comportements, ce que personne n'avait fait jusqu'a présent. Andrew Neild se révèle être ainsi un spécialiste incontestable du genre Morpho.»"
Regarding the last chapter, I asked Patrick Blandin for his point of view, and his feelings completely mirror my own impression of the book: "The study of the Morpho species represented in Venezuela demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the genus as a whole, supported by bibliographic work and considerable consultation of the many types. But Andrew Neild does not just present us with systematic and biogeographical data. He brings together a wealth of information on biology, host plants, and behaviour, a feat which nobody has undertaken previously. Andrew Neild has shown himself to be an undeniable specialist of the genus Morpho."
On est bien d'accord, c'est plus qu'un guide raisonne des Papillons du Venezuela, c'est presque une monographie des différents groupes de Rhopalocères présents dans ce pays. C'est en tout cas un magnifique ouvrage extrêmement intéressant pour tout ceux qui s'intéressent a la faune néotropicale.
There is no disputing that this is more than just a guide to the butterflies of Venezuela. In fact, it is essentially a monograph of the various different groups of Rhopalocera in that country. It is certainly a magnificent book of great interest to anyone interested in the Neotropical butterfly fauna.
Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle
Butterflies (Teinopalpus) (Japan)
No. 52 (2009), pp. 56-57
This Japanese review was kindly translated for me by the talented Colombian linguist Juan Manuel Cardona (email@example.com), author of the Glosario Multilingüe de Terminología Forestal (Multilingual Glossary of Forestry Terminology) in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and Japanese (ISBN 9583389889).
Click on the photos below to read the full review
(Images © Butterflies (Teinopalpus) magazine)
"The Author, Mr. Andrew Neild, only 42 years old, is a very promising individual. An even bigger surprise is to learn that he was only 30 when he wrote part 1."
"Mr. Neild went to live in Venezuela when he was 12. It was then that he met the many beautiful butterflies of that region for the first time and became captivated by them, deciding even from that early age to write an illustrated guide for butterflies. I guess the proverb "Genius displays itself even in childhood" suits him."
"In the species accounts, the taxon is discussed even to subspecies level, in a precise manner that conveys both the author's wits and expertise. It is apparent that the rich conclusions presented are born of careful review of the available data and deliberation based on shrewd perception."
"The comprehensive bibliography extends through 13 pages. Just skimming through it, you cannot help but stand in awe at such detailed information."
"As in Part 1, although only one wing is presented, the type specimen illustrations are dazzling."
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European Journal of Entomology (Czech Republic)
Vol. 107 (2010), p. 686.
The butterfly fauna of the Neotropical zone is the most diverse and abundant in the World. However, it is more a rule than an exception that the best known regions are those with only a few species, whereas those with very diverse faunas are poorly known. The consequence is that South American butterflies are not well covered in the recent literature … Anybody trying to study Neotropical butterflies has to search for information scattered in many different journals and other original sources. On the other hand, there is this amazing book in the series “The Butterflies of Venezuela” written and published by Andrew Neild.
The book is well organised …. The largest, second part, presents detailed accounts of all the species and subspecies. The third section presents a large amount of detailed information on the types and figured specimens … In comparison with that in other similar books the bibliography is very good.
There is little further that I can say about this magnificent work. The second volume of “The Butterflies of Venezuela” is a must for anybody interested in Neotropical butterflies.
Department of Ecology and Conservation
Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Florida Entomologist (USA)
Vol. 92, No. 2 (2009), pp. 407-408
"Magnificent, superb, comprehensive, deeply traditional, with shining youthful exuberance, a sample of modern scholarship and audacious, were just some of the descriptions given by renowned lepidopterists (Ackery (1997), Austin (1997), De Vries (1997), Viloria (1997), and Wilmott and Hall (1997)) to welcome the appearance of the first volume of The Butterflies of Venezuela back in the mid 90’s. The Butterflies of Venezuela, Part 2, deserves these epithets ... and should be on the bookshelves of everyone (or their respective institutions) interested in studying the Neotropical butterflies and the natural history of the region."
"The book is very well written and will appeal to amateurs as well as specialists. Very extensive introductory sections are provided for each subfamily and every genus discussed. Much of the provided information has been obtained from a variety of sources published in Europe and the Americas, including many Latin-American journals difficult to find outside of their countries of origin; this is reflected in the provided bibliography. That formal information has been augmented with the personal collection and observation experience of the author and the use of many unpublished sources, including data gathered from many researchers/ amateurs who have collected or investigated butterflies from Venezuela. The author also acknowledges opinions and comments of many active researchers in Lepidoptera, in different groups, covered from amateurs to worldwide recognized authorities."
Department of Entomology
Texas A & M University
Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society (USA)
Vol. 64, No. 1 (2010), pp. 50-51
"Skillfully composed and beautifully illustrated .... "
"The text provides a measure of the author’s growth between Parts 1 and 2. It is clear that in addressing tricky groups such as acraeines and ithomiines Neild was especially conscientious of the groundwork required for species identifications (examining series of specimens in several museums, making genitalic preparations, consulting with experts, etc). The species accounts in Part 2 are detailed and more maturely composed than in Part 1, and include personal reports and numerous literature citations dating back to the 1800’s; true scholarship revealed."
"The color plates are impeccable ... The 1,451 photographs have been processed extremely well, nicely organized and beautifully printed."
"The series is testimony to Neild’s dedication to fieldwork, interactions with researchers and enthusiasts, visits to museums and private collections, photography, and countless hours spent studying and writing."
"It gives one pleasure to consult The Butterflies of Venezuela series because both volumes have been prepared with great care. In the 13-year gap between the publication of Parts 1 and 2 we have seen increasing demand for more numerous, shorter, and more rapidly published contributions at the expense of detail and scholarship. The Butterflies of Venezuela series does not bend to such demand. On the contrary, it emulates the best of the traditional catalogs, yet it is modern. Clearly Neild’s efforts were focused on making Part 2 as thorough and complete as possible. It shows."
"This outstanding book should be on every lepidopterist’s shelf."
Department of Biological Sciences
University of New Orleans
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SHILAP Revista de Lepidopterología (Spain)
Vol. 38. No. 151 (2010), p. 340
Después de la aparición del primer volumen de esta serie en el año 1996, estábamos impacientes de saber cuándo aparecería el segundo y si sería tan interesante como el primero, la espera ha colmado todas nuestras esperanzas y disponemos en nuestras manos de esta nueva edición con una calidad y presentación excepcional …
“Ever since the publication of the first volume in this series in 1996 we have been wondering impatiently when the second would appear, and if whether it would be as interesting as the first. The wait has been more than worthwhile, for the book has exceeded our expectations – this latest volume now have in our hands is of exceptional quality and presentation …”
[Neild] nos da la información más relevante … con un detalle digno de mención.
“… [Neild] provides us with all the relevant information … in a degree of detail which merits special mention.”
… finalizando la obra con una detallada bibliografía … y unas excelentes 84 láminas con fotografías a todo color …”
“… towards the back of the book there is a detailed bibliography … and 84 excellent full colour plates …”
No podemos por menos que felicitar al autor, por este excelente segundo volumen de la serie y a la editorial por la impresión y la alta calidad de las láminas a todo color y recomendar abiertamente este libro, a todos aquellos interesados, no sólo en la fauna lepidopterológica venezolana, sino que también se haría extensivo a la fauna Neotropical.
“We heartily congratulate the author for this excellent second volume and the publishers for the high quality of this publication and the color plates. We wholeheartedly recommend this book not just for those interested in the butterfly fauna of Venezuela, but also for those interested in the more extensive fauna of the Neotropics.”
Antonio Vives Moreno
Secretary General, SHILAP
Tropical Lepidoptera Research (USA)
Vol. 18, No. 2 (2008), pp. 122-123
Click on the photos below to read the full review
(Reproduced with kind permission of the Editor; images © Association of Tropical Lepidoptera)
"Not unexpectedly, Andrew Neild has really outdone himself in Part 2."
"The text in Part 2 is even more detailed than that in Part 1, and Neild essentially provides a complete taxonomic review for all genera and species occurring in Venezuela."
"Species accounts are overwhelmingly detailed, and draw upon literature from throughout the range of each taxon."
"Unlike the dry text of many regional butterfly books, Neild’s prose is rich and often humorous, always good and enjoyable reading."
"The 84 color plates are stunning!"
"It is hard to write a brief review of such a masterpiece, considering the overwhelming amount of information presented and large number of taxa treated (and since an hour or two passes each time I pick up the book!). Andrew Neild is clearly a perfectionist, and all users of Part 2 will benefit from his methodology and scholarship. I sincerely congratulate Andrew on this fine achievement. Put simply, this is one of those “must have” books if you are interested in Neotropical butterflies. The sooner you obtain it, the sooner you can start enjoying it! It is worth far more than its price suggests. "
McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida