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Britain's Day Flying Moths (cover)

Publisher: Princeton University Press, Princeton (NJ) & Oxford

Publication Year: 2019

Binding: Softback

Page Count: 232

ISBN Number: 9780691197289

Price: £ 17.99

Britain's Day-Flying Moths: a Field Guide to the Day-flying Moths of Great Britain and Ireland

Mention of a day-flying moth to many people will receive a reaction akin to ‘Don’t you mean a butterfly?’ However, as mentioned in WildGuide’s Britain’s Day-flying Moths the number of moth species which are most active in the day (158 covered in the book) comfortably doubles the number of our butterflies (71 species including migrants). The differences between moths and butterflies are included here, along with the book’s definition of day-flying which encompasses those species which are easily disturbed in the day and are likely to be encountered in flight.  

By focussing on this selected group of moths over the entire group, numbering over 2,500 species, the book is accessible for the enthusiastic naturalist who hasn’t made the leap to the expensive world of moth-trapping. That should not be seen as if it would only appeal to beginners though, as it includes topics such as the tantalising and more specialised world of clearwing pheromones, which is covered in detail. The flexibound cover makes it comfortable to use in the field and the high-quality photographs should allow for easy identifications.

Most species receive a full-page account, covering behaviour, food preferences (for both adult and caterpillar), flight times and advice on how to see the moth in action. Besides the comprehensive species accounts, there are sections covering moth biology, naming conventions and a guide to the best habitats for seeing a diverse range of day-flyers.

Is every moth that one could conceivably encounter during daylight covered? Of course not, but that shouldn’t prevent a budding lepidopterist from getting a lot out this charming book.

Book reviewed by Rob Jaques

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