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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Insects
As an allotment owner and a keen gardener, I inevitability come across many insects.
Having a curious mind it is satisfying, being able to identify individual species, and more important, to recognise which are the gardeners 'enemies' and which are our friends.
To this end, I have found the 'Collins Complete Guide To British Insects to be the perfect companion...
Published on 7 Sep 2009 by Mr. John L. Roberts

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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good general introduction with some reservations
To cover British insects in one volume compromises have to be made. Overall this book has got it about right, in that it provides a colour photograph of the insect, a brief description and miniature distribution map. Roughly 8 insects are covered on a page. The book covers every order of insects found within the British Isles. Hence, as a book to cover all insects it does...
Published on 26 July 2011 by Harry E. Clarke


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good general introduction with some reservations, 26 July 2011
By 
Harry E. Clarke (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
To cover British insects in one volume compromises have to be made. Overall this book has got it about right, in that it provides a colour photograph of the insect, a brief description and miniature distribution map. Roughly 8 insects are covered on a page. The book covers every order of insects found within the British Isles. Hence, as a book to cover all insects it does a reasonable job.

However, there are some disappointments. Over half of the book (158 pages) is devoted to just one order Lepidopdtera (butterflies and moths), leaving just 134 pages for all other insects. This is a great shame, as Lepidopdtera are better covered by other books, and the other orders are poorly represented in print. There are approximately 2000 Lepidopdtera in the British Isles, but there are 4000 Beetles, 5200 True Flies, 1650 True Bugs, as well as representatives in other orders of insects.

Some of the photographs are substandard, making identification difficult, such as the pictures of bumblebees.

Presentation is a bit inconsistent. For example, the entry for the "RUBY-TAILED WASP Chrysis ignita" is followed by "CHRYSIS ANGUSTULA". Each entry should be in a consistent format. It would be better to present as Latin name - English name (if there is one), rather than present one entry with the English name in upper case and bold, and the next entry as the Latin name in upper case and bold.

References and useful addresses is not as comprehensive as it could be.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Insects, 7 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. John L. Roberts "Nature Lover" (Midlands UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
As an allotment owner and a keen gardener, I inevitability come across many insects.
Having a curious mind it is satisfying, being able to identify individual species, and more important, to recognise which are the gardeners 'enemies' and which are our friends.
To this end, I have found the 'Collins Complete Guide To British Insects to be the perfect companion. It not only identifies many, many, species, but also give one an insight into the wonderful world of nature, and the constant struggle to survive.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd Indexing, 24 July 2013
By 
Ray Dart "Plingsby" (Bedfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
This is a nice resource, and is fairly complete. Oddly the indexing does not often use common names, you won't find "Wood wasp" in there (although it is mentioned in the text). Likewise "Marmalade fly" and "Thicknee" are missing - there are dozens of other examples. Other than that, it's good.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be better..., 25 July 2013
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This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
I'm a keen photographer, and I purchased this book to aid me in identifying the creepy crawlies that I regularly photograph.

There are a good selection of insects covered in the book, although the sections containing butterflies and moths are by far the most abundant.

I tend to shoot quite a lot of different types of flies, and was disappointed that more weren't covered.

However, the information is presented well, and the images are good, so if the creature you want to identify is included in the book, it's usually an easy task.

For me, it has been a good introduction to British insects, but for something that says it's a COMPLETE GUIDE on the front cover, it's lacking lots of content.

Overall, I'd recommend the book for beginners...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent intermediate identification guide for british insect, 20 April 2012
By 
Chris (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
A good step up from Collins Complete Guide - British Wildlife: A photographic guide to every common species for those with an interest in insects. This expanded volume covers more species with excellent quality photos.

The only real criticism is that the editors interest in Lepidoptera (Butterflies and moths) is clearly evident, with a large portion of the book given over to just this order. It would have been nice to have more examples of other kinds of insects!

Overall though, it's an excellent reference book for those wanting to quickly check an idea of the more common species.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ideal companion for countryside walks and garden exploration, 10 Aug 2014
This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
I've been doing natural history for 25 years and have a degree in ecology.

Whenever I'm asked "which book should I get for insects?", I say this one.

Here's the main reason: he selection is just stunning. There are thousands and thousands of insects in the UK, but this book has uncanny knack of containing the ones you actually see in normal circumstances. You're on a walk, you notice an insect, you stop to look at it - the odds are good you'll find it here. What more can you ask?

Other good reasons:

- it's far, far better than the cheaper smaller guides. The small books really are a false economy because they usually don't have enough species and so you often find yourself wasting your time looking for an insect that isn't in your small book. Your time is valuable! Get a book like this one that rewards it.
- it's a perfect starting point; the vocabulary isn't too technical but on the other hand it isn't really dumbed-down. It's a great bridge between the ultra-simple guides and the more technical works used by entomologists and ecologists.
- the photography is generally good. A few are a bit rubbish; with the estimated seventy nine quadrillion wildlife images appearing on Flickr every microsecond, I hope future guides correct this.
- it's not too heavy. You can take this and one other guide reasonably comfortably in a backpack.

If you want to expand your natural history library into the various insect suborders, you can do that at any time. Really, there's no rush to learn it all. But if you just want to get a good idea of the wonderful and fascinating world of the insects around you, this is the guide to get.

(Don't let anyone who thinks you should own lots of expensive specialist guides before having a look tell you otherwise!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like this bug book, 29 Dec 2013
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This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
As a child I wanted an encyclopaedia on sharks but was given one on insects. I don't have that book anymore, it was a big old hardback and the pictures were all drawn. On the butterfly pictures the wings would be drawn and coloured in one top and one underside and I thought for a while there were actually butterfly's with different coloured wings- one fancy, one dull. I bought this book to replace that one. It's not covered in male and female symbols and doesn't have extensive info on caddis fly larvae but it is full of close up pictures of mini beasts. I got given a butterflies and moths book by a friend but it was generic round the world stuff. You can't beat a book full of back garden critters, uncomplicated by their overseas relations.
In the front of the book it tells you how to narrow the creature down to a portion of the book, through its body shape and short description, but for bug identifying on the move you can just flick through and find the caterpillars page.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Considering the vast subject..., 28 July 2009
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This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
...this book is very well-presented. Beautiful photographs, adequate information, and a good layout. It is a bit large for an in-field identification guide, but I doubt there is an easy way round that. I highly recommend it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellant identification guide, 30 Jan 2011
This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
I decided to purchase this book following a field experiment carried out during my PhD in entomology, where I was struggling to identify certain insects using standard keys e.t.c. On opening this book I was very pleased with the number and detail of the pictures of a wide variety of insects which many other books lack. With the good layout and structure I quickly managed to identify two of my mystery insects and I was pleased to see pictures of the smaller uninteresing insects which can often be missed out.
I think this book is a valuable resource for anybody with an interest in insects and if it does not solve your indentification problems it will certainly point you in the right direction at an excellant price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Guide, 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: British Insects: A photographic guide to every common species (Collins Complete Guide) (Paperback)
I bought it as a present but thought it was a comprehensive and very full guide with wonderful pictures which really would help with identification.
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