28 MARCH 1896, Page 24

A Handbook of British Lepidoptera. By Edward Meyrick, B.A. F.Z.S.,

F.E.S. (Macmillan and Co.)—Notwithstanding the num- ber of popular books on British Lepidoptera, a compact handbook to the order was a great desideratum, as nothing of the kind had been attempted since the publication of Stainton's "Manual of British Butterflies and Moths," published in 1856-59. The present volume is by a writer well known among entomologists for his numerous and valuable publications on the moths of Australia and New Zealand, and he is therefore able to deal with the subject from a much wider point of view than if he had pre- viously studied British Lepidoptera only. The work before us extends to eight hundred and forty-three closely printed pages, and is highly compressed and technical, and is illustrated by numerous woodcuts of the neuration of the wings, to which the .,athor attaches much importance, and which has led him to adopt an entirely new classification of his own, in which the butterflies are placed in the middle of the moths, instead of at the beginning or the end,— an arrangement which we do not remember to have B .en elsewhere, except in Zebrawski's Polish work on the Lepi- doptera of Cracow. Advanced students, or those who wish to study butterflies and moths seriously, will find Mr. Meyrick's book invaluable ; but it is in no sense a popular work, and those who are only amusing themselves with the subject will do well to begin with an easier book, and take up the study of Mr. Mey- rick'a work when they have already made some progress in the study of Lepidoptera.