Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

Gardening for Moths
A Regional Guide

By Jim McCormac and Chelsea Gottfried

“We love our beautiful butterflies, but we could love our moths, too, if we fully appreciated their essential role in nature. Moths and their caterpillars transfer more energy from plants to other animals than any other herbivores. A landscape without moths is a landscape without birds and many other animals. In Gardening for Moths, Jim McCormac and Chelsea Gottfried tell us how to bring these wonderful creatures into our landscapes and into our lives.”

Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants

This guide to moths, native plants, and their environmental roles is an indispensable resource for gardeners, conservationists, and nature enthusiasts across the midwestern United States.

Gardening for Moths is the first book to show midwestern gardeners and naturalists why they should attract specific moth species to their properties and how to do it. The book’s stunning color photographs and intriguing facts reveal the fascinating world of these insects, inspiring readers to incorporate moth-loving native plants into their landscapes. The authors emphasize the importance of moths and their caterpillars to ecological food webs, widening the book’s appeal to birders and bat lovers as well.

The book consists of three main sections, beginning with a thorough overview of moths, including their

  • population decline and conservation,
  • importance in ecosystems,
  • relationship with native plants, and
  • predators and defenses
In addition, this first section features tips on how to attract and photograph moths at night.

In the next section the authors profile about 140 plant species, providing brief background, natural history, habitat, and growing notes for each along with lists of potential moths the plants may attract.

The third section highlights approximately 150 moth species, ordered taxonomically. These accounts include interesting facts about the life history of both the caterpillar and adult moth of each species. Each account also features a list of the species’ common host plants.

Throughout the volume, inset text boxes provide additional fascinating moth facts. Beautiful photographs (most by the authors) illustrate every included plant and moth species. Select references, online resources, and quick reference tables round out this valuable resource.

Jim McCormac worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for thirty-one years, first as a botanist and then on special projects involving animals, primarily birds, for the Division of Wildlife. He is the author or coauthor of several books, the “Nature” columnist for the Columbus Dispatch, and an avid, frequently published photographer.   More info →

Chelsea Gottfried works as a naturalist and nature-based preschool teacher for the Crawford Park District in north central Ohio. She is an avid gardener and a passionate entomologist.   More info →


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Retail price: $36.95, T.
Release date: March 2023
613 illus. · 280 pages · 7 × 10 in.
Rights:  World

Release date: March 2023
613 illus. · 280 pages ·
Rights:  World

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