Martin Townsend and Paul Waring. Illustrated by Richard Lewington
This guide is a companion to the Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland Third Edition by the same authors, designed to be used in the field. It has a spiral wire binding which enables the book to be folded flat. Over 1,700 illustrations are used to enable identification of nearly 900 species. A brief introduction and description of the abbreviations used is given. These include current status, geographical distribution and habitat preferences. Annotated illustrations then show the terminology used.These are all clear and easy to understand.All the ‘macro’ moths are
shown at life-size except the ‘pug’ moths which are slightly enlarged. As this is an arbitrary selection of species established in the early 1900s in Richard South’s guides, some of the larger ‘micro’ moths e.g. Small Magpie and Brown China-mark are also illustrated, along with a caddisfly which may confuse the beginner.
The brief species accounts are shown opposite the plates and contain the main identification features.The superb illustrations by Richard Lewington portray the moths in a consistent way that photographs just can’t match and contain a distillation of over twenty years of close observation and interpretation of the identification features. It is true that more information will be required to identify some of the problematic groups, e.g. the waves and pugs, but this is available elsewhere in the Field Guide and in online resources. There is plenty of space around the text, illustrations and inside covers to add additional notes. The latest taxonomic order is followed and recent additions to our ever-changing moth fauna are included, providing an excellent upto-date reference.
These books would have been a dream to me when I started studying moths in the mid-1970s and I thoroughly recommend them to anyone with an interest in British and Irish moths.