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Britain's Spiders:
A Field Guide
Lawrence Bee, Geoff Oxford & Helen Smith

Paperback Flexibound | 2017 | $29.95 | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691165295
480 pp. | 6 x 8 1/4 | 700+ color photos.
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400885060 |
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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

Lawrence Bee is an ecological consultant and educator and the author of the Field Studies Council's Guide to House and Garden Spiders. Geoff Oxford is a biologist at the University of York and an authority on both colour variation and speciation in spiders. Helen Smith is a conservation biologist and currently leads the conservation programme for the endangered Fen Raft Spider.This book is produced in collaboration with the British Arachnological Society (, of which all three authors are active members.


"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

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    File created: 9/14/2017

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