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Britain's Day-Flying Moths: A Field Guide to the Day-Flying Moths of Britain and Ireland

Field / Identification Guide

Series: Britain's Wildlife

By: David E Newland(Author), Robert Still(Author), Andy Swash(Author)

224 pages, 200 colour photos, 100+ colour distribution maps


Paperback | waterproof PVC cover | Sep 2013 | #203575 | ISBN-13: 9780691158327
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £17.99 $23/€20 approx

About this book

This concise photographic field guide will help you identify any of the 155 day-flying moths found in Britain and Ireland. Combining stunning photographs, authoritative text, and an easy-to-use design, Britain's Day-Flying Moths makes a perfect traveling companion – one that will increase your enjoyment of these colourful and intriguing creatures. Like butterflies, some moths fly regularly in sunshine, whereas others that usually fly only at night are readily disturbed from their resting places during the day.

Britain's Day-Flying Moths describes all of these species, with at least one photograph of each in its natural, resting pose. The text includes a brief description of each moth, with details of its life history, where and when to look for it, its status, the food plants of its caterpillars, and its special features. Introductory sections cover many topics, including how to distinguish moths from butterflies; classification; life cycle and behaviour; ecological importance; the impact of habitat and climate change; recording and monitoring; and conservation.

"As is usual with the WildGuides books, this is a well-thought and user-friendly guide. [...] Highly recommended."
- BTO book reviews

"[...] Who will buy the book? Certainly many of the thousands who are already keen butterfly addicts and curious to know what other four-winged beauties are passing through their gaze! This book may attract another wave of natural-history enthusiasts into the mothing arena who, up to now, were perhaps put off by a rather daunting glance at one of the more traditional (but often excellent) moth field guides already published. It may also appeal to birders looking for another interest during the midsummer avian hiatus. Keen lepidopterists will already know most of the species dealt with, but will appreciate the book's convenient format and ease of reference when not squinting into a moth trap in the dead of night. It is a small shame that the book did not arrive before the late autumn as most buyers will now have to wait until next spring to put it to the test, but I am sure they will enjoy it when they do!"

- Steve Whitehouse,, Wednesday 2nd October 2013


Preface 5
The difference between butterflies and moths 6
What is a day-flying moth? 7
Moth biology 8
The naming of moths 10
Identifying moths 12
Where to look for day-flying moths 16
Gardening for moths 21
Glossary 24
Moth families with day-flying species 26
Introduction to the species accounts 27

Foresters and Burnets (Family: Zygaenidae) 28
Clearwings (Family: Sesiidae) 40
Eggars, Emperor, Kentish Glory and Hook-tips (Families: Lasiocampidae, Saturniidae, Endromidae and Drepanidae) 58
Geometrids (Family: Geometridae) 66
Hawk-moths (Family: Sphingidae) 128
Tussocks, Footmen, Tigers and Ermines (Families: Lymantriidae and Arctiidae) 134
Noctuids (Family: Noctuidae) 148
Micro-moths (a selection of common day-flyers from the families: Incurvariidae, Adelidae, Tineidae, Gracillariidae, Choreutidae, Glyphipterigidae, Yponomeutidae, Plutellidae, Oecophoridae, Tortricidae, Crambidae, Pyralidae and Pterophoridae) 176

List of day-flying moths with summary data showing: habitat preferences, flight season, larval foodplants, and conservation status, BAP listing and legislative protection 202
Conservation and legislation 210
Butterfly and moth conservation 214
Recording and monitoring 214
Further reading 215
Useful websites 217
Acknowledgements and photographic credits 218
Index 221

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David Newland is the author of Discover Butterflies in Britain and the coauthor of Britain's Butterflies. Robert Still, the cofounder of WILDGuides, has designed more than thirty of its titles, and is the coauthor of Britain's Butterflies and Britain's Sea Mammals. Andy Swash, the managing director of WILDGuides, is the coauthor of Britain's Butterflies and Britain's Dragonflies.

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