Book Review
Book Review
Book review: I Lepidotteri del Parco Naturale delle Capanne di Marcarolo
expand article infoOle Karsholt
‡ The Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
Open Access

Giorgio Baldizzone, Carlo Cabella, Faustino Fiori & Pier Giuseppe Varalda, 2013. I Lepidotteri del Parco Naturale delle Capanne di Marcarolo. Memorie dell’ Associazione Naturalistica Piemontese, vol. 12: 1-316, pls 1-32. ISBN: 978-88-902859-5-0

Can be obtained from the first author ( Price: see below.

The nature park Capanne di Marcarolo is situated in north-western Italy north-west of Genova on the border between Piedmont and Liguria, viz. in the transition zone between the Alps and the Apennines. It is a so-called ‘regional park’ and has an area of about 82 km2. It ranges from 335 m to 1772 m (Monte delle Figne) in altitude and includes a number of vegetation types. Much of the original forest has been cut in former times and partially replaced by pines. The park has different types of wetlands including micro-peatbogs. One can get a good impression about the park from a video on YouTube (

This publication presents the result of the study of the Lepidoptera fauna of Capanne di Marcarolo during the years 2002 to 2012, and it is the first book that treats all species of Lepidoptera (micro and macro) of a protected area in Italy. The research has served to draw up an action plan for the management and conservation of the Lepidoptera of the protected area and has resulted in the approval of the plan by the regional government of Piedmont. It is written in Italian, but as the main part of the book is a systematic review of the collected specimens the language should for most foreign readers of the book not be a serious problem (for writing this review I had good help from Google translate).

The book starts with a summary (also in English), and continues with a preface, an introduction to the study area (3 pp.), climate (5 pp.) and flora and vegetation (3 pp.) (these three chapters are written by specialists other than the authors). Then follows a general chapter on the entomological fauna of Capanne di Marcarolo (6 pp.) and a chapter with acknowledgements.

The main part of the book (pp. 34-284) presents the results of the study. Each of the 1464 (sic!) recorded species is presented with full name (with author and year of description). The studied material with exact dates and localities is listed. For each species both the general distribution and the distribution in Italy are summarized, with references to literature, as well as host plants and other biological details. For a few species there are more detailed remarks (like the description of the hitherto unknown female genitalia of Homoeosoma incognitellum (Roesler)).

Even though a lot of progress has be made in the study of the Lepidoptera fauna of Mediterranean countries during the last decades our knowledge of some families of Microlepidoptera is still imperfect, and hardly any person is able to recognize all species of Lepidoptera occurring in an area like Capanne di Marcarolo. The authors have solved this problem by allying themselves with a number of taxonomic specialists of different families of Microlepidoptera. Thereby (probably) all collected specimens have been identified probably as well as possible at the present time.

The systematic part is followed by chapters with a discussion and conclusion (4 pp.), an extensive reference list (8 pp.) and indexes to Lepidoptera and plant names. The book is completed by a map of the area and 32 colour plates with photographs of aspects of climate, geological features, plant species, characteristic biotopes and, especially, selected species of Lepidoptera occurring in the studied area.

The book is published as a volume of Memorie dell’Associazione Naturalistica Piemontese and founded by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Torino. It is not literally for sale, but can be obtained from its first author by giving a donation of at least 25€ plus shipping costs. The donation will be used for research and publications dedicated to the knowledge of the Lepidoptera fauna of Italia habitats included in the Natura 2000 network. This is an interesting kind of crowdsourcing, and both the idea and the book are herewith warmly recommended.

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