Britains day Flying Moths by

Front cover

Britains Day-Flying Moths

A field guide to the day flying moths of Britain and Ireland

After having the opportunity to review

Britain’s butterflies by David Newland and Robert Still

I knew this Moth version was going to be just as brilliant ID book.

I also have one other book from the Princeton press’s WILDguide series and that’s also brilliant, Britains Dragonflies; both guides offer stunning well detailed and well composed images taken by obviously brilliant photographers.

Britains Dragonflies (review coming soon)

I dont have many moth books so I was really excited to have the opportunity to review this brand new Wild Guide from Princeton Press. Those of you that know me know I have a passion for wildlife and photography; in particular butterflies and moths. I spend many hours taking photos of these amazing insects.

But what I do lack is being able to ID my moths correctly as we have 2,500 species, including 1,600 so-called micro moths in Britain and Ireland alone.

We have more than twice the number of day flying moths than we do butterflies and this books concentrates on those we are likely to see throughout the day.

I have a few butterfly ID books which carry a few species of moths but nothing consise or detailed enough to ID correctly.


This concise photographic field guide will help you identify any of the 100 or so day-flying moths found in Britain and Ireland. Combining stunning photographs, authoritative text, and an easy-to-use design, this book makes a perfect traveling companion–one that will increase your enjoyment of these colorful and intriguing creatures. Like butterflies, some moths fly regularly in sunshine, whereas others that usually fly only at night are readily disturbed from their resting places during the day. This guide describes all of these species, with at least one photograph of each in its natural, resting pose. The text includes a brief description of each moth, with details of its life history, where and when to look for it, its status, the food plants of its caterpillars, and its special features. Introductory sections cover many topics, including how to distinguish moths from butterflies; classification; life cycle and behavior; ecological importance; the impact of habitat and climate change; recording and monitoring; and conservation.

  • Individual accounts for some 100 species
  • Stunning photographs of every moth, as you see them
  • Attractive, easy-to-use, and accessible design

Britains Day-flying Moths is one of the best Moth books I have ever read; David Newland, Robert Still and Andy Swash have created another stunning extremely well written and well researched ID book.

The book is divided up into easy to read sections right from the life cycle of a moth, moth biology (which really is a fascinating read). Right through to where to find them and how they are named and what plants to grow in your garden to attract them. Along side this detailed technical information it is accompanied by 320 gorgeous photos to help easily ID your moth.

Just to be clear though in the wording “Day-flying Moths” it is clear some species are definitely day-flying; but many can get disturbed accidentally making it difficult to compile a full list of day- flying moths out of the 2500 species of all moths in Britain and Ireland.

133 species of macro-moths are regarded as dayflyers, but being so very small they are often hard to ID; so only 22 species are included within the book; those which are more likely to be seen.

So within these gorgeous pages you will find 155 species of day flying moths those of which you are more likely to spot on your nature travels.

The moth species are divided up into eight sections within the book, one for each of the broad groups of day flying moths;

  1. Foresters and Burnets,
  2. Clearwings,
  3. Eggars, Emporors, Kentish glory and Hooktips,
  4. Geometrids,
  5. Hawk Moths,
  6. Tussocks, Footmen, Tigers and Ermines,
  7. Noctuids,
  8. Micro-moths.


  At the beginning of each of these is a fascinating section about these species. here is a peek at the Hawk Moth section; showing the beautiful detailed images. Hey Im not giving it all away you really need to see for yourself..


The ID section is along the same lines as the other Princeton WILDguides if your familiar with those; in that they are easy to read but still offer detailed info.

One page is devoted to each species and is extremely comprehensive showing a large high quality photograph and;

  • Adult ID and special markings of both male and female.
  • Where found,
  • When flying,
  • Forewing length,
  • Laval food plant,
  • Similar species,
  • Behavior where relevant,
  • Breeding habitat,


A clever touch is a vertical line in the top lefthand side corner for every species mentioned; showing you a visible example on how long its forewing actually is.

The large, clear maps give you an instant display on where that moth can be seen in the country.

The photos within the book are high quality and stunning from many photographers, you get to see a detailed large main image of the moth resting and in some cases more showing you different colourations that species may have.

There are easy to read charts simplifying food and laval plants of every species mentioned.

 Another chart shown here is so easy to read and sums up briefly the many species mentioned;

  • their latin name,
  • preferred habitat,
  • flight season,
  • main laval foodplant and
  • conservation status.

I found these charts easy to read and understand, without having to wade through the book to find each species. But the option is there if you want to know more about your moth is to go to its own detailed species page.


As with all WILDguides there is a section on conservation and legislation as many of these moths are sadly a subject of conservation concerns and lists those that are rare. It then goes into detail about biodiversity action plans and legislation set out to protect these gorgeous insects. Plus details on the Butterfly and moth conservation society and how to record and monitor your moths with useful websites and further reading if you wish to get more active with your hobby.


This has to be THE BEST book on moths in the market at this time. Its detailed comprehensive with stunning images, well composed pages and chapters. Its easy to read for those starting within the hobby or those more advanced that want as much information as possible on moths and different species.

I found the information fascinating and interesting but it doesn’t drown you in scientific talk and is easy to read with charts that enable you to lookup details of your moth quickly when you want to; down to full page detailed descriptions when you want more.

This helpful WILDguide will take you through ID-ing your moth to where to find it and what it feeds on, right down to what plants to put in your garden to help with conservation; it has something for everyone at every level of interest.

  Blood vein

I have used this book every week since it arrived and its helped me ID many of my own photographs that have sat on my hard drive for a few years; finally they have a name. In particular this beautiful Blood Vein I took a few years ago; that I hadnt been able to ID until now.

This gorgeous book will make a brilliant gift for any wildlife photographer, insect and wildlife lover, they will appreciate the work that has gone into the making of this comprehensive, stunning book. It has excellent quality glossy pages and I loved that it arrived with a heavy duty plastic sleeve perfect for out and about.

All you could want in one beautifully photographed affordable field guide.

About the Author

David Newland is the author of “Discover Butterflies in Britain” and the coauthor of “Britain’s Butterflies”. Robert Still, the cofounder of WILD”Guides”, has designed more than thirty of its titles, and is the coauthor of “Britain’s Butterflies” and “Britain’s Sea Mammals”. Andy Swash, the managing director of WILD”Guides”, is the coauthor of “Britain’s Butterflies” and “Britain’s Dragonflies” (all WILD”Guides”). 


Publisher Princeton press (22 September 2013)


224 pages,

322 colour photos,

Buy your copy from Amazon UK


Help save the butterflies, moths and the environment!

Buying this book supports The Butterfly Conservation

All my thanks goes to Princeton press for sending me this gorgeous book for this review. All my opinions and views are my own.


Review coming soon

 from Princeton Press

 Please see my full photo review below on David Newlands other stunning book on butterflies.

 Plus book reviews coming soon from my own Natural History library.


 Britains Dragonflies 


Plus many more I already own coming soon.

5 thoughts on “Britains day Flying Moths by

  1. Lynda

    I feel the same frustration when I find a plant species and can’t ID it. I look forward to seeing more of your newly ID’d beauties. 🙂 These books are wonderful!

    Now if only there was a version for the fauna of the Deep South. 😉

    1. Natural Ramblings Post author

      Im like you with plants, I know some birds, animals and insects but plants are my biggest ID problem, so I tend to buy alot of plant ID books too. Lets hope you find a book for the deep south; hey there’s a business opportunity for you.
      Thanks for replying again x

  2. Pingback: Rare butterflies’ immigration in Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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