New York Times bestselling author Wendy Williams explores the lives of one of the world's most resilient and fascinating creatures – the butterfly – shedding light on the role that they play in our ecosystem and in our human lives.
"Enchanting [...] The Language of Butterflies introduces us to an array of fascinating people who help tease out delightful insights into lepidopteran biology and evolution. This is a wonderful read."
– Dr. David Suzuki, author of The Sacred Balance and founder of David Suzuki Foundation
"The butterfly's life cycle has always symbolized transformation. In this awe-inspiring book, Williams shows us how these animals can also transform whole ecosystems, scientific disciplines and human hearts."
Butterflies are one of the world's most beloved insects. From butterfly gardens to zoo exhibitions, they are one of the few insects we've encouraged to infiltrate our lives. Yet, what has drawn us to these creatures in the first place? And what are their lives really like? In this groundbreaking book, New York Times bestselling author and science journalist Wendy Williams reveals the inner lives of these "flying flowers" – creatures far more intelligent and tougher than we give them credit for.
Monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles each year from Canada to Mexico. Other species have learned how to fool ants into taking care of them. Butterflies' scales are inspiring researchers to create new life-saving medical technology. Williams takes readers to butterfly habitats across the globe and introduces us to not only various species, but to the scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying them.
Coupled with years of research and knowledge gained from experts in the field, this accessible "butterfly biography" explores the ancient partnership between these special creatures and humans, and why they continue to fascinate us today. Touching, eye-opening, and incredibly profound, The Language of Butterflies reveals the critical role they play in our world PUBLISH DATE JUly 2020
Available now to pre-order at NHBS store £13.99 : Due Jun 2020
Matthew Oates has spent fifty years trying to unravel the ‘Emperor’s’ secrets and with His Imperial Majesty: A Natural History of the Purple Emperor, due to be published in June, he has written an accessible account of one of Britain’s most beloved butterflies; the majestic Purple Emperor.
The Purple Emperor is our most elusive and least-known butterfly. We glimpse it only through fissures in its tree top world, yet this giant insect has fascinated us for centuries. This must be England's national butterfly. Matthew Oates has spent fifty years trying to unravel the Emperor's secrets. Many mysteries remain unsolved, but enough are revealed in His Imperial Majesty to enable experts and non-experts alike to go out in search of a butterfly that thrills and enthrals all who encounter it. This is a good-news species, at a time of massive wildlife decline. And this is a joyous – often rapturous – account, written in plain English, as a labour of love.
ISBN: 9781472950123 Hardback Jun 2020 296 pages, 8 plates with colour photos
Paperback 263 pages due May 2020
Available NHBS Store £16.99
Peter Marren has written widely on the natural world and our association with it. Among some twenty books, he is the author of Rainbow Dust, Bugs Britannica. He writes regularly for British Wildlife and Butterfly magazine and is a former columnist in The Countryman. A close friend of
A wonderful, meticulously researched survey of names that is packed to the gunnels with cultural and historical references.
Many have remarked on the poetic names of our butterflies and moths. Their beauty fires our imaginations. Some are named after human occupations and social rank: Emperors, footmen, a miller, Quakers, lackeys, ‘rustics’ and chimney sweepers. Still more are named after animals: tigers, hawks, goats, sharks, even pug dogs. There are species named after jewels, musical instruments, fabrics, letters, carpets, flowers, heraldry and shells. Some names are downright baffling. Why was one butterfly called an ‘admiral’ and another an ‘argus’? Why, for that matter, are they called ‘butterflies’?
The scientific names, too, contain many allusions. One whole subset of moths is named after weddings. Another group is named after souls. A great many names are cherry-picked from classical tales and legends, often with relevance to a particular butterfly or moth. Some names are spooky, even sexy. Or funny, for Latin names contain word games and jokes.
There has never been an accessible and comprehensive guide to the names of our butterflies and moths, both English and Latin. This beautiful book, written with Peter Marren’s usual wit and insight, takes you on a journey back to a time before the arts and science were divided. When entomologists were also poets and painters, and when a gift for vivid language went hand-in-hand with a deep pre-Darwinian fascination for the emerging natural world.
How to rewild your own little corner of the planet published 1st April 2020
Butterfly Brothers, Joel and Jim Ashton have condensed down their fifteen years’ worth of wildlife gardening experience to share it with everyone through their first ever book. Whilst in lockdown at the minute many of us are turning to our gardens even more than ever for solace, to get our nature fix and to keep ourselves occupied as something always needs doing in a garden. This new book could not have come at a better time for many of us and will no doubt become a well-thumbed reference book over the years to come too, as our gardens grow with us.
"Wildlife gardening is one of the most important things you can do as an individual for increasing biodiversity and mitigating the effects of climate change. From digging a pond to planting a native hedge, the Butterfly Brothers can help you every step of the way." Kate Bradbury
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Ltd ISBN: 9780241435816 192 pages
A Modern Classic
Codenamed Frohawk 2.0 it lives up in every way being over a hundred years since Frohawk's 1924 classic. With detailed descriptions and photos of the adult, egg, caterpillar and chrysalis of each species, this book reveals in detail the fascinating life cycles of the 59 butterfly species that are considered resident or regular migrants to Britain and Ireland. It provides unique insights into a hidden world, and is illustrated with over 1,300 high-quality colour photos that reveal the subtle beauty in something as small as a butterfly egg.
While aimed at the typical butterfly enthusiast, the book's content has been successfully tested by conservation scentists who need to record all stages when measuring the impact of habitat management and climate change. The book also includes recent discoveries that are documented here for the first time.
Butterflies are infinitely fascinating. What may start as a simple hobby of photographing the adult insects can evolve into a deep interest in their immature stages, ecology and conservation and this book will help light your way.
"Over the past decade or so, Peter Eeles has patiently compiled photographs of every stage of the life cycle of every regularly breeding British butterfly, 59 species in all. The result is a profusely illustrated book which documents the development of the butterfly from egg to adult in greater detail than ever before [...]"
– Peter Marren, British Wildlife 31(3), February 2020
"Book of the Year 2019. Buy it! Will be a best seller [...] "
– Matthew Oates, naturalist and the Times Nature Notebook writer and author
"Absolutely stunning book! Nature book of the year?!"
– Stephen Moss, natural historian, television producer and author
"This beautiful book gives overdue attention to the miracle that is a butterfly's lifecycle – its marvellous caterpillars, chrysalises and eggs. What a superb achievement."
– Patrick Barkham, Guardian Natural History writer and author
"Not since that lepidopteran legend F.W. Frohawk studied and etched them nearly one hundred years ago have all the stages in the life cycles of all of Britain and Ireland's butterflies been illustrated in one volume. No mean feat!"
– Chris Packham CBE
ISBN: 9781874357827 Hardback Nov 2019
492 pages £38.50
Drawing on the efforts of Butterfly Conservation's National Moth Recording Scheme and Moths Ireland, this landmark publication is the first-ever distribution atlas of macro-moths in Britain and Ireland.
Around 25 million moth records from Butterfly Conservation's National Moth Recording Scheme and Moths Ireland have been combined to produce this landmark publication – the first ever atlas of all macro-moths in Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Atlas of Britain and Ireland's Larger Moths includes accounts for 866 macro-moth species, each with a distribution map showing current and historical occurrences, trends, status, a phenology chart and colour image. A further 25 species, which were former residents, but have not been recorded from 1970 onwards, have a distribution map.
Brief introductory chapters detail the long-standing tradition of moth recording and the development of the National Moth Recording Scheme, methods used to collect and analyse the data, an overview of trends since the 1970s and the environmental drivers of change in moth populations and distributions.
The Garden Jungle
Published 2019 Jonathan Cape. ISBN 1787331350
Dave Goulson is Professor of Biological Sciences at Sussex University, United Kingdom, and has spent the last 20 years studying bumblebees. So when he writes, he tells it how it is, and we should read and act. I’ve read all his books, and can thoroughly recommend them. This has fascinating scientific details, frightening environmental facts, and practical suggestions for what you can do in your own garden - large or small. It is also laced with the author’s delightful sense of wry humour, and some excellent recipes for cooking with home grown produce. He ends with lists of his 16 best flowering plants for pollinators and 12 best berrying shrubs for birds and wildlife. Sadly this is likely to be a book that preaches to the converted, but gives much detailed advice and information. A must read for wildlife gardeners, however tiny their plot. review by Ginni Darbyshire BCY
'Wonderfully intense and honest - a poignant manual of how to grow hope against the odds.' Chris Packham, TV presenter and author of Fingers in the Sparkle Jar
Finding herself in a new home in Brighton, Kate Bradbury sets about transforming her decked, barren backyard into a beautiful wildlife garden. She documents the unbuttoning of the earth and the rebirth of the garden, the rewilding of a tiny urban space. On her own she unscrews, saws and hammers the decking away, she clears the builders' rubble and rubbish beneath it, and she digs and enriches the soil, gradually planting it up with plants she knows will attract wildlife. She erects bird boxes and bee hotels, hangs feeders and grows nectar- and pollen-rich plants, and slowly brings life back to the garden.
But while she's doing this Kate's neighbours continue to pave and deck their gardens locking them away, the wildlife she tries to save is further threatened, and she feels she's fighting an uphill battle. Is there any point in gardening for wildlife when everyone else is drowning the land in poison and cement?
Sadly, events take Kate away from her garden, and she finds herself back home in Birmingham where she grew up, travelling the roads she used to race down on her bike in the eighties, thinking of the gardens and wildlife she loved, witnessing more land lost beneath paving stones. If the dead could return, what would they say about the land we have taken, the ancient routes we have carved up, the wildlife we have lost? Published May 2018 ISBN: 9781472943118
The Knepp Project : the inspiration of so many...
The most inspirational book I've read in years. In every chapter, new species return.' - Caitlin Moran (on Twitter)
In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the 'Knepp experiment', a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.
Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer - proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain - the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade.
Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells' degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life - all by itself.
Personal and inspirational, Wilding is an astonishing account of the beauty and strength of nature, when it is given as much freedom as possible.
The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland (Revised 3rd Edition)
Probably the best book ever published on the butterflies of Britain and Ireland.
A Jeremy Thomas classic. Details descriptions, life stages and habitat requirements alongside superb illustrations by Richard Lewington.
The Butterflies of Britain & Ireland provides comprehensive coverage of all our resident and migratory butterflies, including the latest information on newly discovered species such as Cryptic Wood White and the Geranium Bronze. When first published in 1991 it won the Natural World Book of the Year Award and won plaudits from all quarters. Fully revised, considerably expanded and reset in 2010, it was judged that year’s Guardian Nature Book of the Year. Now revised again to reflect the latest research findings, and with up-to-date distribution maps, this remarkable book is THE guide to the appearance, behaviour, life cycle and ecology of the butterflies of Britain and Ireland.
Rainbow Dust: Three Centuries of Delight in British Butterflies.
Peter MARREN Vintage, 2015. Pbk
Peter Marren must be of my generation; he remembers when butterfly collecting was an acceptable hobby for children and teenagers. He begins by pinpointing the moment, age 5, when he caught a Painted Lady, and saw its beauty at first hand - literally, as his fingers became smeared with its ‘rainbow
dust.’ The book is a tribute to British butterflies and their relationship with us, the human race; it describes how we have pursued them, collected them, named them, painted and drawn them, and sadly, how we may come ultimately to destroy them. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on women butterfly enthusiasts, a little explored area in a male dominated science. It was also very interesting to read about the Rothschild involvement in the study and conservation of butterflies in the U.K.
This is definitely one for the keen Lepidoptera enthusiast, at just over 200 pages of main text. Sadly, there are no illustrations save black and white drawings at chapter headings, so you must either know your butterflies well enough to visualise them or refer to another illustrated field guide. The book has a good index, an excellent bibliography, notes, and an appendix which interestingly lists British butterfly species not by family (the usual way), but starts with the most commonly occurring and ends with the rarest. review by Ginni Darbyshire BCY