Tijdschrift voor Entomologie, volume 154, 2011 Book reviews Gaden S. Robinson, 2009. Biology, distribution and diversity of tineid moths. Southdene Sdn Bhd, in association with the Natural History Museum, London. ISBN 978 983 40053 9 9, hardcover, 143pp. Price £ 40.00. This remarkable book deals with the world fauna of the tineids, to which the well known clothes moths belong. The family is peculiar amongst the plant eating Lepidoptera as only very few of the species eat living plant material, whereas most species live from dead or decaying organic material, including animal products with keratin (feathers, hairs) and fungi. The book is not a revision, key or phylogenetic treatment. The author refers to his earlier works for those interested in these aspects. Also a checklist of the about 2400 species is not in the book, because it is available online (http://www.nhm. ac.uk/research-curation/research/projects/tineidae/). After a general introduction there is a humoristic chapter why the author choose to study this family, written in a style where the author addresses the moths, answering the question: "Why Tineidae why pick on us?". In a next section, there is a brief review of the classification, enumerating the subfamilies and the genera, providing brief characteristics and numbers of species. The gist of the book is formed by the second chapter: Distribution and diversity. The author treats in much detail the faunas of all geographic regions, particularly with detailed descriptions of island fauna. His interest for islands is no surprise, after the author's PhD thesis on Fiji moths. It is a very instructive chapter to read, even with all the enumerations of names. Many details are given for species that are mentioned, including biology, distribution, introduction of species, with many references provided. I do not know of similar global reviews of Lepidoptera groups, and I think it is a very good way to describe diversity of a family. It clearly shows that tineids are more than just clothes moths. The book ends with a set of colour plates, illustrating more than 500 species. These plates are the most disappointing part of the book, they were not well prepared graphically and the printing does not do justice to these often unexpectedly colourful moths. The contrast is poor between the grey background and drab looking photographs, the moths do not look sharp and are also all brought on about the same size, whether they measure actually 17 mm or just 2 mm. Still it is the first collection of so many tineid moths in colour and definitely will serve in recognising an identifying many of these moths., many of which are illustrated in colour for the first time ever. As could be expected with this author, the book is well written and a pleasure to read. Sadly the author did not live to see the book in print, he died on 7 September 2009 at the age of 60, during the preparation phase. Just before going to print a short obituary could be included at the beginning of the book. In this way the book could become the real testimony of Gaden Robinson, although the author was well aware that this was his last publication, as can be read between the lines in several places. This book is warmly recommended to all who have an interest in Lepidoptera diversity, but also for biologists with a more general interest in biodiversity, particularly on islands. Erik J. van Nieukerken
Tijdschrift voor Entomologie – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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