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Smaller Moths of Surrey provides the first detailed analysis of the status and distribution of the Microlepidoptera within Surrey. More than 1130 species of micromoth have been recorded in Surrey at one time or another, out of a national total of around 1600 species. Considering that Surrey has no coastline, montane or moorland habitats, it probably holds the greatest number of species of any of the landlocked counties of Britain.
Previous volumes in the Surrey Wildlife Atlas Series have dealt with a third of Britain's Lepidoptera. Indeed, since Larger Moths of Surrey was published in 1997 a small dedicated team of lepidopterists has worked tirelessly to gather enough detail on the remaining Microlepidoptera to include them within their own atlas. Smaller Moths of Surrey includes an account of all of the County's species recorded to date and illustrates 132 species as an assortment of adults, larvae, larval mines and cases on 32 colour plates. Every species is discussed providing a brief summary of the moth's status within the County, a description of its distribution, typical habitats where it can be found as well as phenology and all of the species' recorded foodplants.
In addition to information on status and distribution, there are also sections on recording, such as using light-traps and various other trapping methods as well as recording early stages through the examination of larvae and their cases and mines. The atlas is also intended to be used as a tool for conservation as it highlights nationally threatened species that have been recorded within the County. The causes for such species declines are considered, ranging from the increased use of synthetic fibres threatening the
clothes-moths to changes in farming and forestry practices leading to the decline of various foodplants.
The authors have an unparalleled background in recording Lepidoptera. Bob Palmer, author of the County List for VCs 91-93 (1974-5) has been recording for this atlas since 1990. Jim Porter, author of the Colour Identification Guide to Caterpillars of the British Isles has maintained an interest in smaller moths for the past 25 years. Graham Collins has studied Lepidoptera for the past 30 years and has authored two previous books in the Surrey Wildlife Atlas Series on Butterflies and Larger Moths.