This is the book the mothing world has been waiting for. Ben Smart describes how to identify the early stages of more than 170 species of micro-moth larvae at all times of the year. Each species account contains details of the moth’s foodplant, life cycle and distribution, with information on where to find the larvae and the vital signs to look out for in the field. Each species of moth described gets a page to itself, and the many photographs illuminate the essential diagnostic signs. There are 12 chapters, one for each month, as well as recommendations on what micro-moths to look for on field trips at different times of the year. Although focusing on Lancashire and Cheshire, the information is relevant to micro-moths well beyond the boundaries of the two counties. Published by the Lancashire and Cheshire Fauna Society and Butterfly Conservation.
The second edition is identical to the first except for an additional index.
“The purpose of this book is to encourage moth-recorders to get out into the field and take more notice of the often fascinating feeding signs of micromoths. Ben Smart has done an excellent job in helping to make this subject accessible to a wider audience – dispelling the myth that micro-moths, let alone their pre-adult stages, can be something of a ‘dark art’.
Do not be put off by the book’s focus on moths found in Lancashire and Cheshire; the details within it will be of use equally wherever you are in the UK. The layout of the book, with a section for each month, provides easy access to detailed guidance on a range of species, whatever the time of year. This should present even the most ardent lepidopterist with an opportunity to indulge in his or her hobby, even in the dark days of winter when the dreaded ‘moth withdrawal syndrome’ kicks in.
As written descriptions of what to look for can sometimes be subjective, photographic illustrations of the highest standard are also provided. In addition to the detailed individual species descriptions, each month is topped and tailed with a potted ‘what to look for’ introduction and a collection of photographs of other species that may be encountered, all of which adds to its readability. I can heartily recommend this book both to those new to this field and to those who are more seasoned. So, as the nights are drawing in, go on, put this on your wish list for Christmas, if not sooner.”
– Dave Shenton, British Wildlife 29(1), October 2017