The Natural history of Moths, by Mark Young
Moths make up the bulk of the Lepidoptera, 88% on a world wide basis yet far less has been written about them than their more light oriented cousins the Butterflies. This in part reflects their nocturnal and hence mysterious nature, but it also reflects the fact that, perhaps as a result of the former, that we know less about them. Of over 100 000 species very few have been extensively studied, yet what we do know yields us a fascinating array of life history strategies and evolutionary adaptations. Moths occupy a greater diversity of habitat and play a far more important economic role in mankinds' life than do the traditionally more popular butterflies.
This is the first venture into entomology by a publisher already renowned for excellence in the field of ornithology and I am pleased to say that this book continues that record for high quality work. Mark Young has produced a wonderfully detailed, accurate and readable account of the natural history of moths. Though strongly biased towards the British fauna Mark has kept the book from becoming to insular by regular reference to non-British species making this book of value to all English speaking readers. This book is simply excellent, a valuable addition to any library filling a too long vacant niche in the world of entomological literature.
The book is divided up into 10 chapters 1) An Introduction, 2) The origins and distribution of Britain's moths, 3) Dispersal and Migration, 4) Life cycles and hibernation, 5) Plants as food for moths, 6) Plant defences against larvae, 7) the mating behaviour of moths and the use of pheromones in the control of moth pests, 8) Moth predators and population dynamics, 9) Catching and studying moths, 10) Conservation of moths.
All in all a truly lovely book, congratulations to both Mark Young and T & AD Poyser.
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