Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-2

Contents

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pp. 3-4

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Preface

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pp. 5-5

...At the Great Exhibition of 1851, Queen Victoria was captivated by an exhibition of the world’s hummingbirds. None of these exquisite little birds lives anywhere near Britain and Ireland but there is a moth that looks just like one – it is called the Hummingbird Hawk-moth...

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The difference between butterflies and moths

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pp. 6-6

...species habitually fly during the day (or are readily disturbed from rest and then fly, perhaps for some time, before settling again). Most butterflies have club-shaped antennae – a straight rod...

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What is a day-flying moth?

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pp. 7-7

...However, many species that do not usually fly in daylight will regularly do so during the day if they are disturbed, sometimes for quite long periods. Such disturbance can be quite...

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Moth biology

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pp. 8-9

...some species have just vestigial wings and, as a consequence, are flightless). The wings are attached to the thorax, which contains powerful muscles to drive them. The moth’s six legs are also attached to the thorax...

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The naming of moths

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pp. 10-11

...The insect branch of the hierarchical tree has numerous lower branches. Each lower branch represents a different group of insects. The group that includes all the butterflies and moths is the branch...

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Identifying moths

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pp. 12-15

...contrast, micro-moths are generally very small. The smallest day-flyer in this book is the Horse-chestnut Leaf-miner. Although there may be many buzzing round a Horse-chestnut tree in mid-summer, they are easily missed as they are so tiny; their forewing length is just 4 mm...

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Where to look for day-flying moths

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pp. 16-20

...section. The species accounts in this book includes a box headed Where found that gives a more precise indication of the habitat(s) that the species favours and therefore where it is most likely to be encountered...

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Gardening for moths

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pp. 21-23

...Some moths, such as the day-flying hawk-moths, the burnets, Scarlet Tiger and Silver Y spend a lot of time drinking nectar. Encourage them to visit your garden by planting flowering plants with a high nectar content...

Glossary

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pp. 24-25

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Moth families with day-flying species

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pp. 26-26

...The table below is an alphabetical listing of the moth families that include day-flying species, and the number of species that are included in this book. Each family is cross-referenced to the relevant species accounts (micro-moth families...

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Introduction to the species accounts

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pp. 27-27

...The species accounts that follow are divided into eight sections, one for each of the broad groups of day-flying moths (see pages.14–15) In every case there is a general introduction to the group, which includes an overview of the key characteristics of the species it includes Within each group...

The Species Accounts

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pp. 28-28

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Foresters and Burnets (Family: Zygaenidae)

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pp. 28-39

...worldwide. Only ten of them occur in Britain and Ireland: three foresters and seven burnets. They all have long, narrow, brightly coloured wings, often with a metallic sheen. On warm, sunny days they can be very easy to see. In late June and July you will often find the common species flying from flower to flower or mating...

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Clearwings (Family: Sesiidae)

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pp. 40-57

...British Isles. The total number of species increased in 2007 when the Raspberry Clearwing was discovered in Britain for the first time. Another species, the Dusky Clearwing, could bring the total up to 16 if it is re-discovered, but it has not been seen in Britain for 80 years! At first sight, clearwing moths are easily mistaken for other insects: hornets, wasps, bees or flies. The essential differences...

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Eggars, Emperor, Kentish Glory and Hook-tips (Families: Lasiocampidae, Saturniidae, Endromidae and Drepanidae)

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pp. 58-65

...found outside these shores. So, from three very big families and one small one, there are only six day-flying moths in the British Isles. Or, more accurately, there are only six species of which male moths fly during the day, searching for females. The females generally keep out of sight until dusk approaches, when they take to the wing and are often attracted...

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Geometrids (Family: Geometridae)

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pp. 66-127

...their bodies out straight. Most feed in the open and remain on their foodplants during the day, when their cryptic colouring and 'bumpy' profile makes them hard to distinguish from a twig. Adult geometrids can feed from flowers but seldom do so. The explanation seems to be that as they have thin, light bodies and fly efficiently, they seldom need refuelling...

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Hawk-moths (Family: Sphingidae)

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pp. 128-133

...resident breeding species. They are very similar in appearance and behaviour, resemble bumblebees and usually feed on the wing, hovering like Hummingbird Hawk-moths. The Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth is restricted to the southern half of England and Wales. The Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth, which has declined in recent years, is now spread thinly over south-west England...

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Tussocks, Footmen, Tigers and Ermines (Families: Lymantriidae and Arctiidae)

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pp. 134-147

...Footmen usually hold their long, narrow wings folded tightly against their slim bodies. Two species are day-fliers: the Red-necked Footman and the Dew Moth. The footman flies high in coniferous forests though frequently descends to ground level. The Dew Moth has a shape more characteristic of a noctuid (see page 148)...

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Noctuids (Family: Noctuidae)

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pp. 148-175

...probably need good luck if you are to be successful. Preferred larval foodplants for the day-flying noctuids include grasses, clovers, bedstraws and some other herbaceous plants. Some caterpillars of the (many) night flyers in this family feed on the foliage of trees and woody plants, but those of the day-flyers prefer...

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Micro-moths (a selection of common day-flyers from the families: Incurvariidae, Adelidae, Tineidae, Gracillariidae, Choreutidae, Glyphipterigidae, Yponomeutidae, Plutellidae, Oecophoridae, Tortricidae, Crambidae, Pyralidae and Pterophoridae)

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pp. 176-201

...long as their wing length. The diverse Tortrix family (Tortricidae) has about 400 members in Britain and Ireland. Although they are small, many are very colourful and attractive and they occur in a wide range of habitats. The Crambidae is also a diverse family but the identification of many species is usually relatively...

List of day-flying moths with summary data showing: habitat preferences, flight season, larval foodplants, and conservation status, BAP listing and legislative protection

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pp. 202-209

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Conservation and legislation

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pp. 210-213

...known as The IUCN Red List or Red Data Book, is a comprehensive and regularly updated inventory of the global conservation...

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Butterfly and moth conservation

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pp. 214-214

...talks and educational courses. Volunteers are involved in monitoring several thousand important localities, and give practical help by joining work parties to manage habitats. Members are kept up-to-date by the charity’s...

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Recording and monitoring

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pp. 214-215

...in 2007, is open to all. Everyone interested is encouraged to record their sightings (species, date, number seen, place and grid reference) and send this information to the appropriate County Moth Recorder (whose details are given on the Butterfly...

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Further reading

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pp. 215-217

...These excellent books are valuable reference sources, particularly for identifying unusual or difficult moths. Skinner’s book shows moths in their traditional display position, as they would appear in a museum tray of set specimens. This is helpful because size is easily judged and the hindwings...

Useful websites

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pp. 217-217

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Acknowledgements and photographic credits

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pp. 218-220

...The production of this book would not have been possible without the help and cooperation of many people. We are grateful particularly for the support of Butterfly Conservation. Martin Warren, its Chief Executive, was enthusiastically supportive from the beginning, and Mark Parsons, Head of Moth Conservation, devoted a considerable amount of time advising on the text and commenting...

Index

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pp. 221-224