Part of a collection of six volumes covering the wild animals and plants of Britain. This volume covers not only our butterflies, but many of our commoner moths and other insects. The quality of the text and illustrations goes far beyond what you might expect from a book whose outward presentation is clearly aimed at the popular market.
Feltwell, J. 1984. Field Guide to the Butterflies and other Insects of Britain. London. Reader's Digest.
Hardback. 20.5x15.5cm. 352 pages.
About a third of this volume is devoted to butterflies (for which coverage is pretty comprehensive), another third for moths and a final third to insects. Although only a small proportion of our native moths and an even smaller proportion of our native insects are covered, the expertise of the authors and contributors is evident in the selection of those which are. I say this because so many of the insects you do
come across are covered in this book: the criteria for inclusion were clearly geared towards selecting insects which you are likely to see, and not just those which look good on the page.
Most of the insects covered are illustrated by several meticulous paintings which show the insects in contexts in which they are likely to be encountered in the wild
Most of the insects covered are illustrated by several meticulous paintings which show the insects in contexts in which they are likely to be encountered in the wild. In addition, each main entry also has a single photograph. This very effective format is adopted throughout the series.
There are also a number of sections which illustrate similar species, or life-stages, together over one or more pages for comparison. This is another very successful feature of this series. Each volume also begins with a succinct but pertinent introduction.
Although, on the face of it, one of the less academic field guides which I posses, it has remained one of the most useful over the last 20 years.