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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little butterfly guide
Butterflies are undoubtedly the most popular group of insects and this is reflected by the wide range of books available to help identify them, so what then are the chief selling points of this little guide?

The Philip's guide is the latest version of a book that began life as the RSNC Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland in 1986 and the publication...
Published on 9 Nov 2009 by J. Wallace

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a quick reference.
This book is good but it isn't a quick reference book. Some of it is quite complex in it's explanation/diagrams. Useful but I wouldn't say it's a 'handy' guide.
Published 12 months ago by R. Mowbray


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little butterfly guide, 9 Nov 2009
By 
J. Wallace (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
Butterflies are undoubtedly the most popular group of insects and this is reflected by the wide range of books available to help identify them, so what then are the chief selling points of this little guide?

The Philip's guide is the latest version of a book that began life as the RSNC Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland in 1986 and the publication of the current version (in 2007) allowed for extensive revision and updating to reflect changes in the status of the butterflies since the earlier edition as well as the changing state of our knowledge and understanding of their biology.

One of the key differences between the Philip's guide and many of its competitors is the fact that it is restricted to the butterflies of Britain and Ireland. This means that it will not be a satisfactory choice for anyone intending to use it on butterfly hunting holidays on the European continent where there are about six or seven times as many species as are found in the British Isles. The benefit gained however is that it allows much more space to be allocated to each species in what remains a slender volume that would not weigh you down on a foray into the field.

Each species is thus accorded a two page spread which provides a much more detailed account than is the case in most field guides. The text, by Jeremy Thomas, is clearly written and provides an informative portrait of each species and its biology. The text is supported by clear diagrams that indicate the typical time of year at which one can expect to encounter each life stage and life cycle drawings that indicate the habitat in which each of the immature life stages occurs as well as indicating what it looks like.

For the illustration of adult butterflies opinions differ as to the relative merits of paintings versus photographs but this guide opts to provide the best of both worlds. In a section near the beginning of the book, each species is illustrated at approximately life size by the well known insect painter Richard Lewington. These high quality illustrations show both upper and undersides of each sex and are annotated in order to highlight key identification features. In the individual species accounts that follow, each species is further illustrated by decent photographs that show the insect in typical attitude and habitat as the reader might encounter it in the wild.

Overall, then this is an excellent little guide that is well worth its purchase price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philips Guide To Butterflies of Britain and Ireland, 23 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
This book by Jeremy Thomas is an updated version of the one frequently referred to by the writer/journalist Patrick Barkham in his recent book "The Butterfly Isles" (also well worth a look for anyone interested in the natural world and butterflies; although not an ident book- it is more of a monologue/memoir of the authors year searching for all the UK butterflies).

'Philips Guide To Butterflies of Britain and Ireland' has secured an indispensable presence in my rucksack alongside the 'RSPB handbook of British birds' and I would not be without it. Butterflies of Britain and Ireland is far superior to my previous butterfly ID book for one main reason:- it only covers the British species and a few rare migrants, and therefore is quite a slim volume but has extensive information about each butterfly (Ident books comprising European species tend to cram everything into a small space, and personally I would only end up using a small portion of such a book).

Thomas writes clearly, providing a wealth of information of each of the 60 different British species covered in this book, and is pitched at just the right level to appeal equally to the reader, be they layman, hobbying naturalist or avid lepidopterist.

The book is divided into numerous parts; the first details general information such as the life-cycle of caterpillars and butterflies and the various different species found in the various habitats. This is followed by a 'quick ID' section comprising illustrations of the butterflies inside wing and also the underwing. These illustrations are provided by foremost insect illlustrator Richard Lewington, and are accompanied by indications of key identifying marks and a page reference to the full description of the species.

The 'meat' of the guide is a large section where detailed information of each species is presented; each butterfly is afforded a two-page spread with a large colour photograph of the adult butterfly and a wealth of easily digested information, as well as a graphical indication of when the various stages of the butterflies life-cycle can be observed (particularly useful for seasonal flight-times of the adults), distribution map, and illustrations depicting each stage of the life-cycle. A short, illustrated section on our rare migrants completes the guide.

This guide hedges its bets in regards to pictures, providing both illustrations in the 'quick ID' section and colour photos in the main section. I like having both; advocates of 'illustration only' guides may like to investigate Richard Lewingtons own butterfly ident guide as an alternative.

All in all, I consider this the premiere butterfly handbook/field-guide around at present and cannot fault it in any way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent field guide, 25 Jun 2011
This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
I ordered this field guide because I was impressed by the thoughtful, practical layout. The drawings of the different species families and similar species grouped together on the same pages makes it very easy to identify butterflies under real field conditions. This feature dispenses with the need to turn page after page in the hope you reach a positive ID before the butterfly flies away! Once identified, the guide points you to the relevant pages for more detailed information. It is also great value for money!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great field guide and reference book., 22 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
The book is a very comprehensive guide to UK and Irish butterflies. There is a section for each species, describing the life-cycle, habits, food plands, distribution and so on. The book is very well presented with detailed photographs and coloured illustrations to help easily and positively identify each butterfly species, including eggs, caterpillars and chrysallises.

I would strongly recommend this for people requiring a field guide or a reference book. The book is easy to read which makes it accessible for beginners, but also contains a lot of excellent detail for the more experienced enthusiasts. The book is a handy size (about 12 cm x 20 cm) to take with you as a field guide.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Butterfly Reference Book, 8 Jun 2009
By 
T. A. Goss (DORCHESTER, DORSET United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
A superb book that provides exquisite details of the life stages of British butterflies - a must have reference and identification book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the cover, 16 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
After doing a butterfly identification course I needed a decent reference book with all the info conveniently place in a book that I could carry on my travels during my Transects.
Wonderful images and from all stages of life with a lot of info jammed in to give you the heads up.
Recommended by the instructors at this price it is a positive must have bargain.

buy it you will have no regrets
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 13 July 2014
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This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
Great present
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
GREAT STUFF!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Guide, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
Borrowed this book from a neighbour as I had a sudden influx of butterflies into the garden. The book provided all the information I needed and as I identified the butterflies I realised I should buy my own copy, and return the other one to my neighbour. This is a good reference book, just wish there was an equivalent moths book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars book review, 2 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Paperback)
it was bought for my nephew as a present and an excellent choice hes very happy with the information inside the book
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Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland
Philip's Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Ireland by Jeremy Thomas (Paperback - 14 May 2007)
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