Weekend Review - "The Moths of Glamorgan"
The Moths of Glamorgan is the first comprehensive assessment of the moth fauna of the county for nearly two hundred years. It is the culmination of 14 years of research and concerted recording effort in a county that hosts many scarce species. The status, distribution and flight period is given for each of the 1,500 species recorded from Glamorgan based on the county database of over 350,000 records. The book contains over 200 distribution maps and phenology charts as well as a section on the status of the moths in the county. Introductory sections on the history of moth recording in Glamorgan, geology and moth habitats. It provides a baseline for moth recording in Glamorgan and should prove useful for anyone that wishes to know more about the moths found in this corner of south Wales. - Atropos Books
Author: D. Gilmore, D. Slade & B. Stewart
Publisher: Atropos Publishing
With such an eye-catching cover image it was hard not to miss this weighty tome in the gift shop of our local WWT reserve. It wasn't until I picked the book up however that I realised quite what a quality publication it was; hardback, 424 pages, colour plates, distribution maps and all superbly laid out at that. Credit must go to all involved for producing something with such finesse and that's before we've even delved into the wealth of information contained within. Born out of an interest to simply determine the number of moth species to be found in Glamorgan it took the authors fourteen years of dedicated recording and research to produce this, the first definitive work on the moths of Glamorgan for over two hundred years.
As a birder with rapidly developing interests in the world of moths and mothing this book appealed to me on a couple of levels. Firstly there's the curiosity factor for any naturalist with a desire to learn more about this often complex and confusing group. We've all seen moths around but do we really realise quite how many species there are out there or indeed how localised some can be? I, perhaps naively, hadn't so browsing through these pages opened my eyes a great deal to the world around me and what I might expect to find on my own local path. This leads me rather nicely onto my second reason for purchase. It'll come as no surprise for those of you who are regular readers of this blog that I have oft spoken of setting up a moth trap in my own garden and indeed have already recorded a couple of species simply through gatecrashers at lit windows after dark. Clearly I'd like to take this casual interest much further but with such a wealth of species identification, especially at the start, is likely to be something of a challenge. Having this book as a reference guide therefore will prove invaluable as its detailed local data, whether that be areas of most abundance, flight windows or scarcity, will help advise and overcome my inexperience. Furthermore with such a clean and easily readable layout accessing that information when it's most needed will not become a chore in itself.
Obviously The Moths of Glamorgan will appeal most to those who are resident or at least regular visitors to the area but even for anyone with a passing interest there is much to recommend here. Lets hope that with ever more people entering the hobby we can expect the next update in a slightly shorter time frame than two centuries as I for one will be fascinated to see the changing shape, hopefully for the better, of moths in Glamorgan.
Disclaimer: all views are my own based on a personal purchase, of my own volition, that I think others may enjoy.