Grasshoppers and Allied Insects of Great Britain and Ireland. By Judith A. Marshall & E. C. Haes. Illustrated by Denys Ovenden. Harley Books, Colchester. 1988. 252 pp. ISBN 0 946589 13 5. Price: £25'00. This is one of the most useful monographs of the British fauna yet produced and a further tribute to the fine quality of Harley Books' publications. Not only does it describe all 52 species of orthopteroid insects found in the British Isles, including the islands, but also has keys, distribution maps, excellent colour plates and lists of the most interesting sites in the British Isles where these species may be found. A companion tape recording of the songs of 26 species of grasshoppers, crickets and bush crickets is available. The first 60 pages of the book cover a wide range of topics including nomenclature and classification, history and distribution, morphology, life history, song and courtship, predators and parasites, diseases, rearing and preservation. Part II is on systematics, with a checklist and key to the adults. Part III describes the types of habitat of British orthopteroids and comments on conservation needs. Part IV is an atlas of British and Irish Orthoptera species, and there are five appendices of island records, vice county records and outstanding sites, and finally colour plates of both sexes painted by the well-known artist Denys Ovenden, of the usual high quality. Line drawings of particular features are included as an aid to identification. This handsome book will be a great stimulus to naturalists to go out and obtain further information in the less well-recorded parts of the country.
Eric Duffey The Conservation of European Bats. By R. E. Stebbings. Christopher Helm, London. 1988. 246 pp. ISBN 0 7470 3013 8. Price: £9"95. Only 30 species of bats are known in the whole of Europe to 27 ° E. Of these two, or possibly three, are assessed as not threatened, 14 are vulnerable, and four rare. With the assistance of the IUCN/SSC Chiroptera specialist group, Dr Stebbings has, for the first time, brought together a great deal of useful information on the status of bats in each country, and also provided a distribution map for each species. Part I of the book, which deals with their natural history, conservation problems and solutions, is an interesting and comprehensive account of legislation, site protection and research as well as a checklist of the conservation needs in Europe. Part II includes the country accounts, and Part III species accounts, followed by a bibliography. One hopes that this initiative will promote much greater interest in the study of bats, particularly in their welfare and conservation.