Trade in your item
Get a £0.15
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Collins Butterfly Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Europe Hardcover – 6 May 2008

12 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£291.50 £45.96


Trade In this Item for up to £0.15
Trade in Collins Butterfly Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Europe for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.15, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; New edition edition (6 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007242344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007242344
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 14.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 704,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'Richard Lewington's illustrations are magnificent…Tom Tolman's text is excellent’
New Scientist

'The identification plates are without equal in any modern field guide to butterflies'
Centre for Biodiversity Studies, Milwaukee Public Museum

About the Author

Richard Lewington is one of the world's leading natural history illustrators, specialising in insects and other invertebrates. He has illustrated numerous books and lives in Oxfordshire, where he works as a freelance illustrator.

Tom Tolman developed an interest in botany and natural history in the 1970s and has since developed a passion for butterflies. He has an extensive collection of butterfly photographs from all over Europe, including many species whose photographs have never been published.


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Mr. David Moore on 2 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
Having had the first edition of this book since it was hot off the press, I was eagerly waiting this latest installment; however, I am very disappointed by this edition.

It was heralded as the 'most complete guide' by the publishers; but, it is no more complete than it was in its first incarnation.
Tolman had a golden opportunity to update and improve on the best field guide to the European butterflies ever written. But he has chosen not to. The only changes are to the text/plate layout. There is no mention of the new species discovered in the past 11 years or of any distributional changes. A classic example being Real's Wood White which was found in Ireland in 2001: a species he had 8 years in which to update the text and distribution map!!!

I feel that the rendition of the plates is poorer and the figures appear slightly grainy in comparison to the original. Further why were the missing species not illustrated for the first time? At least in the original edition they were clearly marked 'not illustrated', in this book the reader has to find this out for themselves by frustratingly looking at the figures. As for errors, I have been so unimpressed by the book overall, that I have not exhaustively read it - the text appears identical to the original anyway! However, I did find it odd that the False Apollo was inserted in the Parnassius, out of any logical taxonomic order, and to compound this it is designated the 'False Festoon' on its map!

Overall, a nice book if one does not have the original, but to buy it to update your knowledge from the first edition - forget it. I would encourage anybody to search out a second hand copy of the 1997 edition, it is a better book.

I will be giving mine away, such is my disappointment.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A. Bissitt on 15 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
In common with the first review of the book, no sooner had I opened it than I was finding distribution maps with the incorrect species caption (the Apollo's and Festoon's are all over the place - hence the Spanish Festoon does not appear to be found in Spain according to it's map!). However I can see nothing wrong (yet) with the illustrations which seem fine. I was also glad to see that descriptions are invariably opposite the illustration of the species they refer to which I believe was not the case in a previous edition of the book. However I still find it hard to take that a book of this standing can have such glaring mistakes (with more to be found?)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M. P. Frost on 15 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't agree more with the reviews so far. I've written to Collins about the errors but received no reply. With an interest in all forms of wildlife/photography I try to buy the best ID books available for the knowledge they contain. I was looking forward to this new edition for my bookshelf but quickly returned it asking for a refund. Surely a book of this calibre should have been proof-read more carefully. One of the white butterfly plates was also bitmapped. A pity that such editorial errors has let down Lewington's articulate artwork.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Pemberton on 7 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Having read the reviews posted here I was nearly dissuaded from buying this book but went ahead and bought the paperback as my previous field guide was very out of date. The paperback came out nearly a year after the hardback and some of the obvious errors mentioned in the other reviews seem to have been address (the Spanish Festoon map, labelling False Apollo False Festoon; however, the Real's Wood White map remains out of date)- I'm quite surprised Collins didn't point that out in the blurb for the paperback(on Amazon at least). In terms of the book itself it's the best available one I could find and the illustrations are a vast improvement on the Collins guide from the late 80s/early 90s I had previously so I am fairly happy so far. One thing I find fairly odd is that the distribution maps seem to cover Asiatic Turkey for some species and not others. For example the 'Range' for Eastern Rock Grayling is stated to include Turkey but it is not covered on the map (though Lesbos, which is fairly adjacent,is); from what I can find on the internet it is found in Asiatic Turkey. Perhaps the distribution needs confirming but it does seem slightly incomplete. All that said Asiatic Turkey is in theory not covered at all so perhaps I should be happy it is covered for some species rather than none.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on 9 July 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book seems to be comprehensive and well-illustrated, but as a "butterfly novice" I found it a bit technical. There are a lot of impenetrable abbreviations and I found it very difficult to find a butterfly which I had seen without having some idea already of what it might be. Probably a book for someone with a bit of knowledge already.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By P. on 26 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Coming at this book as someone who knew very little about butterflies, I thought I'd choose this title as I'm a huge fan of the Collins Bird Guide in the same series.

However, while the information and plates in this book are excellent, it can be a very difficult book to navigate for the beginner, sorted purely by taxonomic order which doesn't always seem obvious to people with limited knowledge, and the keys at the start of the book to aid identification are not the easiest follow.

Perhaps damningly, I still find myself checking my more generalist insect field guides for butterfly IDs.

Another problem is the lack of drawings of caterpilars, which would have been vary useful.

These gripes aside, for someone with more knowledge of butterfly classification, who wants a guide to European species, then this is ideal. However, for my purposes, it was possibly a mistake.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback