Moth Books

As you might think there are a lot of books on moths and a selection is listed below. It is by no means exhaustive but gives a flavour of what the macro recorders have to hand including some books we use for micro id.
For beginners we recommend buying Waring & Townsend (the 2nd edition) and then if money allows Skinner (3rd edition) will help you move on in your id skills. Manley is a useful introduction to micro moths in addition to the macros though only a few of each family are illustrated.
Identification of Macro-moths
Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain & Ireland by Paul Waring & Martin Townsend (1st ed. 2003, 2nd ed. 2009)
This is available in both softback and hardback and is an excellent book especially for the beginner as it shows the moths in their natural resting position
Concise Guide to the moths of Great Britain & Ireland by Paul Waring & Martin Townsend (2007)
This was published at the end of May 2007 and is a spiral bound version of the above with condensed text and is excellent value.
Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles by Bernard Skinner (1st ed. 1984, 2nd ed. 1998, 3rd ed. 2009)
This shows the species as pinned specimens - very useful if you want to see the hindwing pattern as well. The 3rd edition has extra colour plates and the plates are reproduced much better than in either of the other two editions.
British Moths & Butterflies - a photographers guide by Chris Manley (2009)
A useful book to complement Waring & Townsend and Skinner
British and Irish Pug Moths by Adrian M. Riley & Gaston Prior (2003)
A book targeting this difficult species group - not perfect but can be helpful though Andy prefers Vol. 4 of The Geometrid moths of Europe by V. Mironov as the dissection plates are excellent.
A Revised Handbook of British Lepidoptera by Edward Meyrick (1927, reprinted 1968)
No plates but useful keys and identification descriptions.
Conifer Moths of The British Isles by Jon Clifton & Jim Wheeler (2012)
A comprehensive identification guide to macro and micro moths that feed exclusively on coniferous trees & shrubs. Covers 108 species
Identification of Macro & Micro-moths
The Moths & Butterflies of Great Britain & Ireland (Harley Books - 1980's onwards)
This useful but expensive series is not complete yet but with the retirement of Basil Harley the project has been taken on by Apollo Books and should now be completed. There are currently 9 volumes of which at least one volume is out of print now. Species groups not covered so far and keenly awaited include the Plumes, Geometrids & Tortrix moths.
Identification of Micro-moths
British Pyralid moths a Guide to their Identification by Barry Goater
This really is an excellent introduction to the Pyralid moths - the largest of the micros and those most often assumed to be macros.
British Tortricoid Moths by J.D. Bradley, W.G. Tremewan, and A. Smith (Hardcover 1973-1979)
Printed in two volumes one of which is extremely expensive now secondhand but you can get it all on a CDROM published by The Ray Society which is far cheaper.
Tortricidae of Europe by Jozef Razowski (2 volumes 2002)
Expensive but useful - this includes all the European species so can be confusing.
Bird Dropping Tortrix Moths of The British Isles by Jon Clifton & Jim Wheeler (2011)
A comprehensive guide to these small moths whose markings mimic bird droppings. Covers 59 species.
Pyraloidea of Europe / Europas by Frantisek Slamka (Vol1 2006, Vol2 2008)
The first volume was published in late 2006 and is not of as much relevance in the UK as volume 2 on Crambinae & Schoenobinae
British Plume Moths by Colin Hart (2011)
A superb book on this family of micro-moths. A must have for anyone wanting to identify and/or study this group.
Macro-moth Caterpillar ID
The Colour Identification Guide to Caterpillars of the British Isles by Jim Porter (1997)
A useful book though generally only one instar is illustrated and some species can change considerably as they grow.
Foodplant List for the Caterpillars of Britain's Butterflies and Larger Moths by Tim Crafer (2005)
A very useful resource listing the species known to feed on each plant/tree/shrub.
County moth atlasses

The Butterflies and Moths of Bedfordshire by VW Arnold, CRB Baker, DV Manning & IP Woiwod (1997)
What can we say - if you are mothing in Bedfordshire you should have a copy - if you don't, since it is out of print then hunt one down as it is so useful!!
The Moths of Hertfordshire by Colin Plant (2008)
The Moths of Essex by Brian Goodey (2004)
The Larger Moths of the London Area by Colin Plant (1993)
Other Books
Enjoying Moths by Roy Leverton (2001)
Lots of interesting information and hints etc.
Checklist of Lepidoptera recorded from the British Isles by J.D.Bradley (2000)
Lists all the species in what is known as the Bradley Fletcher numerical order giving synonyms and previous names.
The Scientific Names of the British Lepidoptera, their history and meaning by A. Maitland Emmet (1991)
If you wonder what lies behind the scientific names then you will find this a fascinating read.
Practical Hints for the Field Lepidopterist by JW Tutt (1905-1908, reprinted 1994)
This book was originally published in 3 volumes and lists by month what you can go out and find. The tips for looking for early stages such as larvae are very useful.
Flora of Bedfordshire by Chris Boon, Alan Outen et al (2011)
A comprehensive study of the flowering plants, trees and bryophytes of the county. Essential for anyone interested in foodplants for leps etc.