Background

Chris Manley Publications

This website is principally to provide a look at British Moths 2nd Edition. There are sample pages to browse and reviews to read, but there has been much development to arrive at this stage, including, of course, British Moths 1st Edition.

British Moths

I have always been aware of moths since my father used to run a light trap on the lawn when we lived in Sussex, and I can still remember waiting for moths by the light in damp woods at night when I was quite small. His brother was also an avid entomologist and FRES who wrote books about moths and butterflies, one of which was Butterflies and Burnets of Spain. His information is supported by his collection which resides in the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow.

Typical catch using a moth trap

British Moths

However, it wasn’t until 1995 that I bought my first mercury vapour light which I ran in our Dorset garden on a cardboard box with a few egg trays inside. As we lived on a large private country estate, Trigon, it wasn’t long before I borrowed, and then bought, a generator to explore different parts of the estate.

This then led on to getting the key from the National Trust for all of their Purbeck estate and contributing some useful records to the Dorset Moth Group who gave me lots of support and encouragement. I became almost addicted to exploring the Isle of Purbeck with my trap, generator and National Trust key.

Once digital cameras were invented my recording efforts were much simplified although identification books were still limited and expensive.

MV Trap site, Dungeness

MV Trap site, Dungeness

Moths of Trigon

Moths of Trigon evolved out of my recording and photography on the Trigon estate. We were intending to move house so I put all my moth records together for the estate owners, using the wonderful new ‘desktop publishing’ technology now available.

As time went on other people seemed to want copies also so I got it printed. Although not particularly comprehensive, Moths of Trigon did attract some favourable reviews, partly because it was relatively inexpensive and included colour photos of over 500 species but, especially, because there were pictures of quite a few micros too.

Moths of Trigon

Moths of Trigon

Whilst selling my wildlife sculptures at the Rutland Birdfair I took the opportunity to show Moths of Trigon as well. As a result I got chatting to a commissioning editor for a national publishing company who encouraged me to write him a proposal for a national version of a photographic British Moths field guide.

This became the 1st Edition of British Moths published in 2008 with a lot of help from the lepidopteran community, which included butterflies and caterpillars too. After several reprints over 6 years it was time for a 2nd Edition of British Moths, A Photographic Guide to the Moths of Britain & Ireland. This was published in 2015 . It concentrated solely on adult moths and included distribution maps.

Victorian Egg Collections

As a wildlife sculptor I used to visit zoos and museums for sketching and reference material. One of these was the Bournemouth Natural Science Society not far from me in Dorset which houses all sorts of collections, including various Victorian birds eggs, and an extinct Passenger Pigeon.

Victorian Egg Collections

Victorian Egg Collections

Over the course of numerous visits I gradually photographed all the eggs with provenance and, ultimately, compiled these into a book. Thus the Society had an accessible record for anyone to view in their library, rather than having the eggs hidden in many drawers in several rather inaccessible cabinets.

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