Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland Paperback – 31 May 2009
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About the Author
Martin Townsend has had a life-long interest in natural history, and started specialising in Lepidoptera at the age of ten. He works as a consultant ecologist, concentrating on insects and other invertebrates, with Lepidoptera as his main field of expertise. He graduated with a BSc in Zoology from the University of Aberdeen in 1985, and since then has worked in ecological research and conservation, including work for IACR Rothamsted, Oxford University Department of Zoology and the RSPB. He has published a number of research papers and articles and has been an independent consultant since 1998, carrying out site surveys for conservation bodies and other landowners. He is based in Oxford.
Paul Waring was born in the New Forest, Hampshire. A schoolboy interest in caterpillars led ultimately to Honours Zoology at the University of Oxford and a PhD on the impact of woodland management on the moth fauna of Bernwood Forest. Since 1987, Paul has worked full-time on moth conservation in Britain, both within the government conservation agencies and as a freelance, as well as mothing elsewhere throughout the world. He is based in Peterborough, and has authored over 1,000 papers and reports in scientific journals, including a regular report on moths in British Wildlife for the last 20 years.
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Top Customer Reviews
For each species there are notes on Field Characters, Similar Species (features sadly missing from the Skinner guide), Habitat, and Status & Distribution (amongst others). After 2 days use, I am confidently identifying the smaller and less distinctive noctuids, with great confidence, where previously the guide(s) available were inadequate for this.Read more ›
The book by Waring et al sorts a lot of this out as the paintings done by Richard Lewington are superb. The moths sit as you see them and shape is a large factor in identification. The text helps a great deal too telling you the important points to look for in identification. It also supplies details on range, emergence time and how common they are all of which help a lot during use.
The layout of the moths through the book follows that given in the British checklist. This is identical to that in other books so moving from one volume to another is easy if confirmation is required. It is also a handbook so it will fit in your pocket.
There are one or two problems. The first is the layout of the book. The pictures are not scattered through the book along with text relevant to each species, they are provided in four groups. Immediately you have trouble finding the pictures. I have ended up marking the site of the pictures with tabs of insulating tape just so that I can locate them. Then starting from a picture of moth, is the text for that species positioned in front or later in the book? Could be either. This may sound silly but time is precious when the moth may disappear any scond! If you are going to group the pictures, I think putting them all in a single group, at the back of the book makes far more sense.
Second for many species the text supplies "similar species". This is a good idea but some of the "similar species" do not look similar at all!Read more ›
As my interest developed, I went to a moth walk, and then decided to buy a book.
Moth identification is daunting for beginners, with so many species, some almost identical in appearance. This book is the most straightforward guide available.
It avoids the use of over-technical language and is immediately usable and readable.
Containing over 800 species, it is also comprehensive. Another good point is that it fully includes Ireland, so can be used by Irish naturalist like me, too.
Although it is quite expensive, it is worth it if you are keen on moths.
And best of all, the illustrations are superb - just look at the hawkmoth plates!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quite possibly the best Moth book on the market. Look no further.Published 1 month ago by R J Seargent
Highly recommended, especially for Richard Lewington's illustrations.Published 6 months ago by Steve B.
Lost my last one. Had to buy another as it's handy, informative and clearly and beautifully illustrated.Published 9 months ago by ricki
Fantastic book for identification. Well laid out with plenty of information.Published 11 months ago by Jeanette Stewart
An excellent guide, comprehensive, and I doubt it will ever fail me whatever my search. Informative, clear and easy to use, be it for a keen beginner or practised amateur.Published 13 months ago by Philip Jeffs