For anyone thinking of beginning to study the British microlepidoptera, this is an excellent starting
point, representing over 200 species of the Pyralidae family. This group of moths is
well-represented in Britain and many of the species are rather distinctive and easy to
find. However this book also serves as the definitive reference guide for the more
serious student, packed with useful identification information for some of the difficult
There are 8 colour plates of set specimens, depicting both male and female where these differ,
and also some variations. There is also a colour frontispiece with photos of 12 species
in their natural resting positions, part of which is reproduced on the dust jacket.
The specimens are shown life-size, which is fine for the larger species, but in some
instances, the smaller species suffer from the limitations of print resolution and it can
be difficult to use the plates, for example to identify the Scopariinae. In several
cases there are line drawings of wing-pattern or genitalia for some difficult groups.
The text is quite comprehensive, and for each species gives a description, pointing
out the more salient identification pointers, though this is in quite technical jargon
and can be difficult to interpret for the inexperienced. There are cross-references
to similar species, and further details about distribution, larval habits and foodplants.
Presently, this is the only book in print to exclusively cover the British Pyralidae, and
therefore is an essential buy for the serious British moth enthusiast.