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The Colour Identification Guide to Caterpillars of the British Isles

Jim Porter

ISBN 0670875090
Viking Press

275 pp; 49 colour plates
Price: approx £45.00
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British Caterpillars Identification Guide - front cover

This book, seen as the companion guide to Bernard Skinner's "Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles", is an immense undertaking in it's own right. Jim Porter's unstinting ambition to photograph all the caterpillars of British macrolepidoptera has resulted in this superb volume.

All but a handful of the British species appear as colour photographs in natural settings, and most of the missing species have since been published in the journal Atropos.

British Caterpillars Identification Guide - internal plate

With over 850 species illustrated, the photographs are perhaps not as large as they deserve to be, but with usually 18 per plate, skimming through to identify a caterpillar is normally a fairly quick task.

The text for each species has sections on description, foodplants and habits, the latter section often including useful tips on locating caterpillars in the wild, and hints on rearing in captivity. The species text also mentions how the caterpillar in each photographed was obtained.

This is a must-have book for the British lepidopterist, and brings together images of virtually all the butterfly and macro-moth caterpillars probably for the first occasion since Victorian times.

Unfortunately it is now becoming harder to find, but is still available from a few outlets, and well worth searching out.

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