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Field Guides & Natural History  Insects & other Invertebrates  Insects  Flies (Diptera)

Britain's Hoverflies A Field Guide

Field / Identification Guide Identification Key New Edition
By: Stuart Ball(Author), Roger Morris(Author)
336 pages, 840+ colour photos, 162 colour distribution maps, 53 tables
Publisher: WILDGuides
Britain's Hoverflies
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  • Britain's Hoverflies ISBN: 9780691164410 Edition: 2 Flexibound Mar 2015 In stock
  • Britain's Hoverflies ISBN: 9780691246789 Edition: 3 Flexibound Aug 2024 Available for pre-order
    £17.99 £25.00
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About this book

Britain's Hoverflies is a beautifully illustrated photographic field guide to the hoverflies of Great Britain, focusing on the species that can be most readily identified. It is the perfect companion for wildlife enthusiasts, professional ecologists and anyone with an interest in this fascinating group of insects, and is designed to appeal to beginners and experts alike. This improved and updated third edition covers thirteen additional species and offers a host of improvements to aid reliable identification.

Accessible, authoritative and easy-to-use, this book contains hundreds of remarkable photographs of hoverflies in their various life stages. It features an essential guide to the hoverfly tribes and photographs of at least one representative from each of the British genera. The species included are mainly those that can be identified by eye or using a magnifying glass. Individual species accounts highlight status, key identification features, behaviour and habitat requirements, and include flight-period charts and up-to-date distribution maps. Sections on hoverfly biology, where and when to find them, legislation and conservation, recording hoverflies and gardening for hoverflies are also included.

- Features more than 840 stunning photographs
- Provides detailed information for 177 species, including at least one species from each of the 69 hoverfly genera recorded
- Updated taxonomy, nomenclature and information on status and population trends
- Includes a complete list of the 284 hoverfly species recorded to date, with an indication of how difficult each is to identify in the field and from photographs

New features in the third edition include:
- Updated and expanded text throughout
- Revised species accounts that reflect evolving knowledge and experience, including updated maps, flight-period charts, status and population trends, and taxonomy and nomenclature
- 13 additional species accounts
- Enhanced coverage of difficult species, with new photographs to highlight key features
- More than 290 new photographs in total
- New section on putting data to good use

Customer Reviews (1)

  • Absolutely brilliant
    By Angela 1 Jul 2017 Written for Flexibound
    Hoverflies are one of the more difficult species of insects to identify because of their mimicry of bees and wasps as well as having several species which are very similar to a superficial examination. This book is packed full of hints and tips as well as exceptional photographs to enable non specialists to identify the majority of the commoner British species. Within ten minutes of receiving it I realised I'd misidentified a hoverfly I'd photographed in the garden. All I hope now is we have enough fine weather to get lots of use out of it this summer.

    This series is excellent, this book is among the best I've ever used for insect identification (and I have lots).
    41 of 47 found this helpful - Was this helpful to you? Yes No


Stuart Ball and Roger Morris have run the Hoverfly Recording Scheme since 1991. They are the authors of Provisional Atlas of British Hoverflies and active members of the Dipterists Forum, a society that promotes the study of flies.

Field / Identification Guide Identification Key New Edition
By: Stuart Ball(Author), Roger Morris(Author)
336 pages, 840+ colour photos, 162 colour distribution maps, 53 tables
Publisher: WILDGuides
Media reviews

"With an established reputation for their accessibility, ease of use and authoritative text, the WILDGuides have become the benchmark for photographic field guides. That a new edition of Britain’s Hoverflies has appeared less than two years after its original publication underlines both the success of the book and the fast-moving nature of hoverfly taxonomy.

With an extra 16 pages, the new edition sees the book fully revised and updated, the most fundamental change being the addition of a simple guide to the most commonly photographed hoverfly species. Other changes reflect recent taxonomic updates; for example, we see the genus Arctophila, which includes large species mimicking bumblebees, moved to become part of the genus Sericomyia. Two species new to the British list get a mention for the first time, though not full accounts; it is worth noting that the book was never intended to cover every species found in Britain, just those likely to be encountered. This approach delivers a book that remains readily accessible, covering 167 out of the 283 species, and which does not deter those beginners developing their interest in hoverfly identification and recording.

The species accounts are succinct but informative, providing sections on identification, observation tips and similar species, and each is supported by photographs that illustrate both the flies and the key features that enable identification.  These features are highlighted by comments, enabling you to pick out the important features at a glance. This is a very good book and the best of what is proving to be an excellent series of field guides."
– Mike Toms, BTO book reviews

Praise for the previous edition:

"Covering those species most likely to be seen means as an introduction this book will be a great starting point, the photographs are great at helping you achieve your identification goals and the short descriptive accompanying text will help even more if you need to compare other species."
– Ashley Boelens, Fat photographer

"[W]onderfully informative [...] [T]he book is billed on the front cover as An introduction to the Hoverflies of Britain. But it's rather better than a simple introduction – in fact it is quite complete, covering each of the 70 genera to occur in Britain and 165 of the commoner species that one is likely to find within our shores, giving the prospective reader more than enough material to go at and thus proving quite brilliant for the mere mortals of hoverfly identification such as me [...] This particular group of insects has been crying out for a modern and comprehensive field guide of high quality for years, and finally it is here. Go and buy it – it's essential!"
– Josh Jones, BirdGuides

"One of the best field guides to any taxonomic group."
– Chris Sharpe, Curious Naturalist

"The latest field guild from the excellent Wildguides [...] Beautifully and clearly laid out."
– Charlie Moores, Talking Naturally

"This is an excellent introduction to this attractive group of insects and should inspire many of its readers to investigate them further."
– N.P. Wyatt, Entomologist's Monthly Magazine

"I have found these Wild Guides invaluable for ID-ing my insects [...] This is an ideal gift for anyone who loves their wildlife, they will appreciate the stunning photos in this super detailed field guide."
Gadget Girl Reviews

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