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Britain's Spiders : A Field Guide - Lawrence Bee

Britain's Spiders

A Field Guide

Paperback Published: 23rd May 2017
ISBN: 9780691165295
Number Of Pages: 480

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Britain's Spiders is a photographic guide to all 37 of the British families, focussing on spiders that can be identified in the field. Illustrated with a remarkable collection of photographs, it is designed to be accessible to a wide audience, including those new to spider identification. This book pushes the boundaries of field identification for this challenging group by combining information on features that can be seen with the naked eye or a hand lens with additional evidence from webs, egg-sacs, behaviour, phenology, habitats and distributions. Individual accounts cover 395 of Britain's approximately 670 species, with the limitations to field identification clearly explained.


As the first photographic field guide to British spiders to be published since 1989, this book fills a major gap in the resources available to everyone with an interest in this fascinating, diverse and important group of animals.


  • More than 700 stunning photographs

  • Includes a guide to spider families, based on features recognisable in the field, focussing on body shape and other characteristics, as well as separate guides to webs and egg-sacs

  • Detailed accounts highlight key identification tips for each genus and species, and include information on status, behaviour and habitats

  • Features up-to-date distribution maps, and charts showing adult seasonality

  • Introductory chapters explore the biology of spiders, and where, when and how to find them, including equipment needed in the field

  • Contains a complete list of the spiders recorded in Britain, indicating the ease of identification as well as rarity and conservation status

  • Provides information on how to record spiders and make your records count, and guidance on how to take your interest further

Industry Reviews

One of The Guardian's Best Nature Books of 2017, chosen by Stephen Moss
One reason arachnids are so misunderstood is a general lack of decent field guides to teach us anything about them, a gap this book fills with aplomb. . . . A must for anyone interested in nature.---Ross Piper, BBC Wildlife
Britain's Spiders is excellent value. . . . The book is well written. The Species Accounts are clear and concise, helped by the superb color photographs which accompany them. All in all, a very useful and informative guide, and a significant addition to books on Britain's spiders.---Don Jenner, British Journal of Entomology and Natural History
The stand-out feature of these guides is the generous layout and spacing of the species accounts afforded by the format. . . . It engages, inspires, and enables spiders to be named . . . I strongly suspect that many arachnologists of the future will have been inspired by their encounter with this field guide.---Paul Tinsley-Marshall, British Wildlife
We've waited with such great anticipation that it would have been easy for the final product to fall short of our expectations, but I can happily report that it does the opposite! . . . The central piece of the book is, of course, the species accounts section. The accounts are first class and the attention to detail superb. . . . I commend this book to all those interested in identifying and recording British spiders.---Richard Burkmar, British Arachnological Society Newsletter
[A] fabulous new field guide Britain's Spiders by Lawrence Bee, Geoff Oxford and the marvellous spiderwoman herself Helen Smith, without whom the beasts would be much less loved.---Mark Cocker, Blackwater Blog
This is a guide that will revolutionise the study of British spiders, allowing confident field identification of many species and encouraging a new cohort of natural historians to take a closer look at these extraordinary creatures. The authors are to be congratulated on a the completion of a herculean task that has made spiders accessible to a wider audience.---Peter Smithers, Antenna: Journal of the Royal Entomological Society
This is a book that looks good and feels good. It's not too big to put in your rucksack but big enough to give an enormous amount of information about British spiders. . . . A superb field guide, and an exemplar for how field guides should be laid out . . . if you ever visit Britain and/or want to get to know their spiders, this is the book to use.---Astri Leroy, South Africa Spider Club Newsletter
Britain's Spiders provides a wealth of photographs and information. . . . Fascinating.---David Saunders, Pembrokeshire Life
The surprise hit of this year's Birdfair . . . ideal for the arachnophile in your life.---Stephen Moss, The Guardian
This is, without doubt, a fantastic publication. . . . The authors, photographers and publisher are to be congratulated on producing a high quality guide to the UK's spider fauna which will be as useful to the experienced arachnologist as it is for the beginner.---Richard Wilson, Naturalist
I can't think of a field guide to any group of organisms that is more densely packed with information than this guide to Britain's spiders. Chunky, glossy and colourful, this is an exciting proposition, and only the second photographic guide to our spiders. . . . A fine guide and good value for money, and as an introduction to our macro-spiders it sets a new high standard.---Matt Shardlow, Atropos

Foreword 7 Introduction 9 Spider anatomy - naming the parts 14 Glossary 16 Spider biology 22 Anatomy - a brief overview 22 Silk production 23 Webs 25 Retreats 28 Courtship and mating 28 Egg-sacs 33 Development and growth 34 Dispersal 36 Longevity 38 Parasites 38 Food capture and feeding 41 Coloration 43 Spiders and people 44 When, where and how to find spiders 46 Essential equipment 48 Additional equipment 49 Collecting techniques 50 Guide to spider families based on appearance 54 Guide to webs 73 Guide to egg-sacs 84 Introduction to the species accounts 96 THE SPECIES ACCOUNTS (see also following pages) 98-420 Working in the field 421 Recording spiders 422 Legislation and conservation 424 Legislation 424 Red Lists 425 British Rarity Status 426 The Amber List 426 List of British spiders 427 Further reading and useful websites 463 The British Arachnological Society 465 Acknowledgements and photographic credits 466 Index 472 Alphabetical list of genera with species accounts 480

ISBN: 9780691165295
ISBN-10: 0691165297
Series: Britain's Wildlife
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 480
Published: 23rd May 2017
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.08 x 15.24  x 1.78
Weight (kg): 1.38

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