Bedfordshire Natural History Society




The Titles

The Butterflies and Moths of Bedfordshire by V.W. Arnold, C.R.B.Baker, D.V. Manning and I.P.Woiwod.

The Reviews

The Butterflies and Moths of Bedfordshire

by V.W. Arnold, C.R.B.Baker, D.V. Manning and I.P.Woiwod.

ISBN = 0 950 6521 5 6
Price = £20.00
Published = 1997
Review written = 23/August/1997
408 pages
104 small colour plates
Limited edition 500 copies
Britain is blessed with a high density of amateur naturalists, many of whom are lepidopterists. It is not not surprising therefore that the lepidoptera fauna of Britain is the most comprehensively studied non-pest insect fauna in the world. The correlation of the information relating to the species occurrence and distribution is of vital importance to all work of ecological study and conservation assessment. As such the various county records of particular insect groups are invaluable resources to both amateur naturalist and professional ecologist alike.
This is a weighty (1.2 kilos) and extensive volume, and for a work with 4 authors it is remarkably consistent and coherent throughout. It contains a comprehensive (78 page) introductory section which includes 42 pages giving extensive information about local habitats, a lovely introduction to some of the more interesting aspects of the Bedfordshire coutryside. Included in this introductory section are also a number of enjoyable and informative cameos of past lepidopterists in Bedfordshire.

The species are listed in Bradley and Fletcher log book number order (though these are not included in the indices). For each species information is given, where available, in five categories; Pre VCH, VCH, Post VCH, Flight period and Larval food plants. Nearly all species are accompanied by a distribution map based on 10kl squares. I must confess that though I appreciate the value behind listing localities, and the ease of use of distribution maps, I do not prefer either format but would instead like to see both incorporated, which in some cases you do get in this work.
This work also includes nearly 300 references, a series of 4 tables giving information from 4 butterfly transects which have been regularly walked in the county as well as indices of Scientific, Common and Place names. All in all excellent example of the genera.

Highly Recommended

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