The links are gone!  I briefly had an Amazon associates account, but it seems like every state I move to has laws that make this impossible. And much like California and Illinois, Colorado will continue to prohibit me from collecting any miniscule “kickback” from Amazon.
Grinter library

Here are some of my favorite books that have come in handy while learning the ropes.  Everything listed here is a book that I actually own and trust (I own too many books).  Over time I’ll update this list to better reflect the shelves of my library.  Don’t want to purchase the book?  Check our your local library or even ask me for a loan!


General Entomology

Bugs in the System: Insects and Their Impact on Human Affiars

Evolution of the Insects

For Love of Insects

Introduction to Insect Biology and Diversity

Introduction to the Study of Insects

The Smaller Majority


Basic Techniques for Observing and Studying Moths & Butterflies (Memoir No. 5)

Butterflies of Arizona: A Photographic Guide

The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide

Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History (Princeton Field Guides)

A Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (Special Publication / Virginia Museum of Natural History)

Field Guide to Butterflies of Illinois

Field Guide to the Skipper Butterflies of Illinois

Field Guide to The Sphinx Moths of Illinois

Finding Butterflies in Arizona: A Guide to the Best Sites

The Hawk Moths of North America: A Natural History Study of the Sphingidae of the United States and Canada

The Lepidoptera: Form, Function and Diversity

Moths of Western North America

The Wild Silk Moths of North America: A Natural History of the Saturniidae of the United States and Canada (The Cornell Series in Arthropod Biology)

Assorted Insect Families

American Beetles

Flies of Western North America

Manual of Nearctic Diptera (online free here)

Science & Skepticism

Adventures in Paranormal Investigation

Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax”

The Counter-Creationism Handbook

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions

Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

The God Delusion

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary Edition–with a new Introduction by the Author

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time


6 comments to Books

  • Ron Parry

    Hi Chris,

    I love your web site. I have been fascinated by moths for about two years and still feel overwhelmed by the subject. Thanks for the great picture of the beautiful little Gelechiidae. The lack of an ID promotes a sense of mystery that I find appealing.

  • Joe Belicek

    Hi Chris,
    Ross Layberry & I are compiling An evaluation of the massive influx of immigrat butterflies into southern Ontario, Canada on April 14-16, 2012 ― following a major outbreak of severe weather in United States. With notes on rearing of Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius, 1798) near Ottawa.
    WE are siting your blog Grinter, C. 2012. The Invasion of the Butterflies.
    Do you have any additional comments on this event? Thanks.
    Joe Belicek
    I like your website!

  • Joe Belicek

    Hi Chris,
    Thank you for a speedy reply.Your reference –
    Grinter, C. 2012. The Invasion of the Butterflies.
    Your blog is right on the money, so we used it verbatim.
    Chris Grinter, in his blog on April 26th, 2012 wrote: “The local news for most of the eastern US and Canada has been aflutter (ha) recently with reports of the irruption of Vanessa atalanta – the Red Admiral butterfly. While [it] is a common occurrence every spring for these butterflies to migrate north from their overwintering grounds in the southern US, the sheer numbers this year are staggering. There are quite literally thousands of admirals in our back yards. So what’s different this year?
    There is much speculation about the warm spring weather (warmest March on record for many places) and often lots of misinformation to go along with some armchair entomology. Most of the news sources I’ve come across say the warm spring has allowed these butterflies to flourish and reproduce in abnormal numbers. That isn’t quite possible however, V. atalanta overwinters as an adult. The southern states provide temps just warm enough for adult Vanessa butterflies to hide in the fall and be the very first to awaken in the spring to get a jump start on mating. Even if the butterflies were awake in February the host plants were not yet up (thistles [actually nettles]); the butterflies in our backyards are from last year.
    But what if weather did play a role in this boom cycle? Last year was a La Niña year with our beautiful and mild winter. The year before was an El Niño, most of the eastern US was assaulted with winter and we suffered at the hands of the epic Chicago “snow[a]pocalypse”. Perhaps this combination depressed population numbers sufficiently in 2010/2011 which then decreased parasitoid load, allowing for greater overall butterfly fecundity in the summer of 2011. Those overwintering butterflies were then granted a warm winter that could have allowed for a lower winter mortality. As the butterflies moved north this spring there were no frosty nights to cut into populations – just lots of hungry birds. The result would be an abnormal influx of migrating butterflies. But then again…
    Despite butterflies being so popular and well studied there doesn’t seem to be a perfect grip on what conditions each of the Vanessa species [and other species] prefer. The variables of host plants, population range, weather and parasitoids all play important roles in abundance and distribution. Did the weather cycles of the last few years variably effect[ed] one species over another? Who wants that PhD project (from hell)?”

    No problem, will let you know when the paper is out.

    Joe Belicek

  • Hi Chris. Seems you are THE moth man! We would like to invite you to our annual environmental awareness event on the Caribbean island of Saba. Is there an email address where I can send you specific information.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>