Trade in Yours
For a 11.00 Gift Card
Trade in
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland [Hardcover]

Jeremy Thomas , Richard Lewington
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover, Illustrated 32.81  
Hardcover, 30 April 2010 --  
Paperback 17.06  
Trade In this Item for up to 11.00
Trade in The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 11.00, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

30 April 2010
This completely revised edition of 'Butterflies of Britain & Ireland' includes substantially revised species accounts, all including the latest information and research.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: British Wildlife Publishing Ltd; Revised edition edition (30 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956490204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956490209
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 19.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


This is probably the best butterfly book of them all: sumptuous, readable and marvellously complete. . . I don't want to overpraise it, but it's perfect, sometimes anecdotal, and packed with the right information. --Simon Barnes, The Times

For me, this is still the best butterfly book ever written and a `must have' for every serious butterfly enthusiast. --Martin Warren, Chief Executive, Butterfly Conservation

Britain's best-loved butterfly book -- Michael McCarthy, The Independent

. . what promises to be our best butterfly book for 20 years, by our top expert Professor Jeremy Thomas and acclaimed butterfly artist, Richard Lewington --Peter Marren, The Weekend Telegraph

There are many books on British butterflies, but this is the ultimate butterfly handbook, with all the detail one could possibly want. . . . Richard Lewington's illustrations are absolutely astounding. How can anyone paint so well?
--Steve Gantlett, Birding World

About the Author

Jeremy Thomas, one of Europe s most accomplished butterfly experts, is Professor of Ecology and a Fellow of New College at the University of Oxford, and the President of the Royal Entomological Society (2012 14). He previously worked as a research scientist at the Nature Conservancy s Monks Wood laboratory, at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology s Furzebrook Research Station, and at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology s Dorset laboratory. He initially helped devise the methods used to monitor change in the distributions and abundance of butterflies, and for four decades has led research teams across Europe to study the ecology of threatened species, including the interactions between ants and butterflies. He has applied his research results widely to conserve declining European butterflies, including the five species of Large Blue. Thomas s work has attracted a variety of awards, including leading prizes for advancing the sciences of both Conservation Biology and Ecology, for natural-history writing and for practical conservation.  Over almost forty years, Richard Lewington has built up a reputation as one of Europe s finest wildlife illustrators. He first became interested in butterflies as a child when he inherited a cabinet of insects from his father. He studied graphic design at the Berkshire College of Art, and since leaving in 1971 has specialised in natural-history illustration. His meticulous paintings of insects and other wildlife are the mainstay of many of the modern classics of field-guide art, including Insects of Britain and Western Europe, Collins Butterfly Guide, Field Guide to Dragonflies of Britain and Europe, Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland, Pocket Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland and Guide to Garden Wildlife. He was, for many years, the principal artist on the multi-volume series, The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. He has also designed and illustrated wildlife stamps for a number of countries, including a set of ten stamps of British butterflies for Royal Mail in 2013. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New edition of this classic work 17 May 2010
It's great to see a new edition of this classic work being published. As mentioned in a previous review the original published in the early 1990's quickly sold out and was not reprinted.

Not only has the book been reprinted (thank you British Wildlife Publishing) but it has been thoroughly updated. Richard Lewington, the master of invertebrate illustration, has painted nearly 100 new illustrations for this edition. Jeremy Thomas has revised, and where necessary updated the information about each species in light of new research. Particular attention has been given to the Lycaenidae and their interaction with ants.Two new species have been added, Real's wood white and the geranium bronze and the maps have been updated.

As with the original, all life stages are illustrated, there is a life-cycle diagram illustrating when you can expect to see each stage, a map showing the species range and an extensive, up to date and expertly written account of the ecology of each species.

The book is a fair size and hardback, so it is likely best used as a home reference to double check field observations - or to learn all the fascinating details that field guides don't include.

A classic just got better!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I chanced upon this book in a bookshop at around the time it was published in 1991 and have consulted it regularly ever since. Jeremy Thomas, perhaps the leading butterfly expert in the country, provides a charming text that reflects his love of butterflies as well as his deep knowledge whilst the peerless Richard Lewington provides beautiful plates that show each life stage of all of the species regularly occuring in the UK as well as a number of rare vagrants and species that are now extinct. Adult stages are shown life size.
The large format of the book (250 mm X 255 mm) means that it is not suitable for taking out into the field but the wealth of information included, covering aspects of identification, variation, distribution, life-cycle, ecology, food plants and behaviour, make it a worthy reference to include in any entomologist's library. Now only available second hand it is nevertheless well worth seeking out a copy.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Butterflies of Britain & Ireland 11 Oct 2010
Stunning book. Provides all the information I need to ensure I retain the butterflies I do have and encourage those in the area to establish themselves in my woodland once I have planted the right larval food plants. The complete pictorial lifecycle is exactly what I desired for my conservation & restoration project. A must have for anyone wanting to learn at whatever level. And a bargain!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look no more! 4 Feb 2011
If you are enthusiastic about butterflies found in the British Isles then this is this latest edition is the book you need. Professor Jeremy Thomas has distilled a lifetime's experience of lepidoptery into this attractive, informative and immensely readable volume. If you have agonised over whether a fresh, male Common Blue might just possibly be an Adonis or the differences between Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, then this book will help settle the matter.

This is no pocket field guide but a manual for planning your butterfly season, keeping at your right hand while reviewing last season's photographs and even dreaming of the day that the Purple Emperor flutters in front of your lens. Comprehensive is an understatement, for each species is described not only for itself but also in the wider ecological context drawing from Prof. Thomas's immense experience in that field. The wealth of detail notwithstanding it remains an extremely readable book.

For field trips, Jeremy Thomas's "Guide to Butterflies" is still available s/h in its latest incarnation by Phillips, although the flight time charts may not reflect global warming. However, there is now a "Pocket Guide to Butterflies of GB & I" by Richard Lewington, who illustrated JA Thomas's epic, which has remedied this and will be the subject of intensive field trials with us this Summer.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book 11 Nov 2010
I purchased this book due to the fact I've been photographic Butterflies over the last year and needed something to help me identify them.

I stumbled upon this book and the reviews a few weeks back and can confirm what everyone is saying about it. The book really is an excellent guide to British Butterflies. The information contained within it, coupled with the beautiful illustrations really do mark this book out as something special.

The quality of the printing and the binding are also first class. If the first printing of this book sold out all those years ago, then I suspect this version will too. Buy it before it too becomes a rarity.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the best 25 Aug 2010
By NickL
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is just the best. The pictures are works of art and so helpful and the text is a delight and full of enthusiasm. Brilliant. My other butterfly books won't be needed again, I fear.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exellence 25 Aug 2010
This book supercedes and updates the original 1991 publication with the same title by the same authors. Highly recommended to any butterfly enthusiast, it is hard to imagine how it can be bettered.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Bobr
As an amateur wildlife photography enthusiast I needed a reference book that would allow me to easily identify the butterflies that I have photographed. Not only are the illustrations exceptional for the purpose but the background information in the book is excellent to enable me to plan future expeditions to find species missing from my photo collection.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Was this review helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Stunning artwork
Published 14 days ago by Del Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Pictures reprinted in newer edition
I have to confess that a major incentive for buying the first edition was to have some more of Ian Lewington's excellent illustrations. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Guy Manners
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate illustrations and wide range of information on all species
Beautifully illustrated and includes variations and habitat information too. The complete reference book for the butterflies of the British Isles
Published 4 months ago by Ajay
5.0 out of 5 stars Well used already!
Really love this book although it's not one to take out in the field. Information is extremely comprehensive and the illustrations are just amazing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Josephine Elizabeth Hamer
5.0 out of 5 stars A thing of beauty
It's a living room reading book rather than a field guide. I wish for other groups such a thing were available but maybe British Isles butterflies is a manageable group to cover in... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. Shuttleworth
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a field guide, but a good book for base
Covers all the common British butterflies and covers a lot more that are rare visitors. This is an excellent reference work for home.
Published 7 months ago by Still Learning
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book
Informative details of the butterflies of Britain and Ireland, when and where to see them, with a page of beautifully painted illustrations
Published 10 months ago by Marion Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant.
Published 10 months ago by Alan Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells you all you need to know
Such a stunning high quality and very informative book! Beautiful art work, indepth information, perhaps not for a lapidoptarist but for the butterfly enthusiast it is perfect. Read more
Published 11 months ago by E. Tombs
3.0 out of 5 stars I bought this for one of my GrandDaughters
The Subject Matter is dealt with well enough, However , I am a retired graphic designer and as such I Know what good printing
should look like.... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Gimartin
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category