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on 17 August 2017
This field guide was recommended to me by a local nature reserve ranger. Until there are reliable apps where we can point our cell phones at a spider and get an immediate identification, we are stuck with books, and this high quality edition serves me well, covering more than 450 species. However, note that this is a hardback, and with close to 400 pages it is a little larger and a little heavier than might be expected.
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on 12 October 2015
Easy to follow with great diagrams and images.
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on 12 March 2017
Interesting and good to read.
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on 19 April 2009
Myself and my partner have been using this book to identify the spiders we photograph. So far it has provided clear, precise diagrams which we have used to identify hundreds of spiders.

The book also provides adequate information on every species to be able to learn about them.

It's small enough to carry around, and has been used by us time and time again.

Thumb's up!
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on 22 February 2010
Very good book but I agree with another reviewer in the fact that this is in a more advanced level for entomologists and not for the average naturalist. Take my word since I am a Biologist my self. This book has amazing ilustrations but in many cases ( a lot) one can not identify a species by only comparing it to a plate. One has to use dichotomic keys (which are included)which can be a little anoying or too much for the average person and take the fun out of identifying spiders. Apart from that I recomend a microscope and not only a hand magnifier lens since in MANY small sized especimens you will need extra magnification for examining in detail structures like spinners, palps, etc.
But the again if you are a Biologist, naturalist, or simply are really intrested in european spiders its worth having in your book shelf as a reference.
I have used it here in Norway to identify spiders and have been succesful with almost all specimens I have examined.
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on 4 March 2005
This is a wonderful book that will inspire many to take a greater interest in the fascinating lives of spiders. Dr Roberts begins the book with helpful and useful guidance on how to trap and study spiders, as well as clear information about the biology of spiders. The colour plates are beautiful, and the detailed drawings of the identifying spider genitalia that litter the book are amazing. Each species is described and has comments about habitat and distribution, with additional information at family and genus level. A fellow reviewer does have a point that this may not be the ideal book if you want to have an attempt at identifying the more obvious spiders in your back garden - if this is the case you might be better with the Field Studies Council laminated card guide to house and garden spiders. However, anyone with more than a passing interest in spiders should buy this wonderful book, and let Dr Roberts inspire them to watch and try to identify the hundreds of spiders we have in the UK. And if it really inspires you, follow it up with tracking down Dick Jones "Country Life Guide to Spiders of Britain and Europe" and WS Bristowes "The World of Spiders". Both are long out of print but easy to get through the Abebooks site or similar.
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on 4 January 2010
There is little info available about our native spiders but this book has it all; drawings, biology, taxa, groupings, colour illustrations.
Highly recommended.
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on 19 May 2014
This is the best on the market with perfect images that are extremely detailed with perfect habitat descriptions etc. GREAT BOOK!
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on 2 October 2009
Easy to use and small enough to carry around with you.I use this book to identify the spiders I photograph. A much-needed book to arachnid identification!
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on 2 April 2003
I agree with other reviews of this that it is not a casual users book but if you want a concise but comprehensive guide to spiders in the UK with a detailed key and outstanding information on how to examine / study these species then this is the book you want. The information on needed equipment is outstanding and the species descriptions are bettered only by the superb drawings. Overall I was very impressed with this book and whilst it *isn't* a coffee table book on spiders it is a superb field guide just as it claims 'on the box'
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