British and Irish Butterflies

British and Irish Butterflies

The complete Identification, Field and Site Guide to the Species, Subspecies and Forms

A wonderful butterfly book, the first to cover all the adult forms, including subspecies, in the British Isles. It provides clear directions and field tips on where to find them (incl. OS grid references), as well as details of identification and behaviour, and is complemented with stunning colour photographs of living specimen of all the taxa.

This volume is supported by Butterfly Conservation in their efforts to protect the butterfly fauna of these islands, whilst at the same time, encouraging greater awareness of their existence and beauty.


Author: Adrian M. Riley
Publisher: Brambleby Books
Year of Publication: 2007
Format and Pages: Paperback, 380pp.
ISBN: 978-0-955392801
Retail Price: £25
Our Discount Price: £20

Sample text from British and Irish Butterflies

How to use this book

As stated in the Introduction, each species, subspecies and major form is treated in the text with equal status and, for ease of reference, the individual accounts are divided into standard sections. ...

Literature references, Subspecies type locality and authority, General distribution and status: General distribution, Status, Legal status, Distribution of records, Flight period, Larval foodplants, Habitat requirements, Identification characters, variation and similar species, Field tips and Regional prime sites.

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Reviews and readers' comments

“I consider this to be one of the great works of the decade in its field, and am sure it will be considered a reference work for many years to come alongside the works of Frohawk, South and Ford. Adrian has really set the standard for any future work in this area and, I have to say, has really moved my understanding of the butterfly fauna of the British Isles along considerably. 'The photographs shown in this book of all the species, subspecies and common forms of British and Irish butterflies, complemented as they are by extensive site guides, identification notes and detailed field tips, constitute - I hope - the most complete guide yet available to the 108 butterfly taxa found in these islands'. This reviewer, for one, would agree.”

Peter Eeles, UK Butterflies, 2007


“…Clear and abundant illustrations and concise writing style further the appeal of this book, which can be thoroughly recommended to a diverse audience, from the amateur lepidopterist to the professional ecologist.”

James Read, The Biologist, 2008


“…What sets Adrian Riley’s latest [butterfly] book apart from [others] is that the existing information has been fully validated and in many cases supplemented by the author’s own meticulous and original research carried out in recent years. …Riley has set about personally finding and photographing all 112 taxa (species, subspecies and major geographical forms) available in Britain in order to present them here. …Adrian’s excellent photographs, supplemented by a few from other people named in the acknowledgements, are well worth buying the book for an their own. They have reproduced well on the surprisingly thin paper. …This is a book that warrants a place on the bookshelves of most British butterfly enthusiasts and as modern books go this one has not too bad a price ticket.”

Colin Plant, The Entomologist’s Record and Journal of Variation, 2008


“…to check the reliability of the book for identifying adult butterflies, I tested its efficiency for discriminating all potentially troublesome species pairs; in every case I found the author’s descriptions and illustrations passed the test admirably.

… Despite its (deliberate) omissions, this book is well written, beautifully produced and good value for money. Although it will not fit into any but the largest pocket, it will prove an invaluable aid for those who wish to locate, observe and identify adult butterflies in the field in Britain and Ireland.”

David A.S. Smith FLS, The Linnean, Oct. 2008


What our readers say:

"I greatly admire Adrian Riley's butterfly book; it is a masterly tour de force and the photographs are superb, by far the best I've seen. The habitat information is great." Mr. A. Ferguson

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