Saturday, 5 October 2013

Britain's Day-flying Moths

I have just received a copy of Britain's Day-flying Moths the latest from WILDGuides and a credit to authors David Newland, Robert Still and Andy Swash.

These guides really are tremendous.  I picked up a copy of the Hoverflies in the same series at the BirdFair and thought how it might change my life.  I recently bought a new macro stabilised lens so I could photograph insects and I can see this latest volume being both a great stimulation and assistance.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth - one of my favourite day-flying moth species
This volume begins with introductory sections covering identification of moths rather than butterflies, classification, life cycle and behaviour, ecological importance, the impact of habitat and climate change, recording and monitoring and conservation.  There is also a helpful section on which habitats to search for these wonderful insects. In the species accounts excellent photographs illustrate the flying insect and there is copious text describing each one. In addition a table reveals the conservation status, where found, the flying period, forewing length and larval food plant.  Distribution maps also accompany each page.

At the back of the book there is a handy and usable checklist and a section on conservation and legislation.

Broad-bordered Bee Hawk Moth - one of the most beautiful day-flying moths.
This book is a must have for anyone interested in photographing and just learning about very visible moths in the daylight hours. Personally I cannot wait to get out and start using this book in the field.

I have already discovered that the bizarre white insects which look like a cross which occur on our windows here in France are in fact White Plumes.  I had not actually realised they were moths.

I should point out that the photographs in this review are mine and not from the book.

Britain's Day-flying Moths published by Princeton University Press
David Newland, Robert Still & Andy Swash
224 pages - 200 colour photos - 155 distribution maps

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