Saturday, April 27, 2013

I.F.B. Common's Moths of Australia

Plate from I.F.B. Common's Moths of Australia 04-25-13


I get to read this magnum opus. The NHM has a research library and they have........everything. It's magnificent and I was so content in there surrounded by dozens of books on my precious angels. But the most coveted one was I.F.B Common's Moths of Australia which I'll be ranting about.

First off this book is one of, if not THE most well written pieces of literature on our Heteroceran friends and it's something I've wanted for a very very long time. Sadly for reasons currently unknown (I'm trying to find out why) the book is out of print and thus insanely hard to get a hold of.

Sometime last year I found out the museum had a library and can guess what happened next. I went searching their archives to see if they had it during my hunt for a copy and lo and behold they did. And I finally got to read a nice big chunk of it (they don't let anyone check out books, not even the staff! Unless under special circumstances) and take a shitload of notes. My hand was cramping toward the end of the day.......ohhhh it was wonderful.

This magnum opus of a book has both color and black and white photos a very nice layout of all the moth families found in Australia and insanely wonderfully well written descriptions of their life cycles, behavior, species themselves, everything. In short Mr. Common is a genus and has my full and utter respect and idolization.

I can fully understand why people would flip their shit over this book (as I have done) it's everything I thought it would be and more.

It also has occurred to me that I think these might be the first photos of this book online.........holy shit. I haven't found any except for the cover while searching online to see where I could possibly purchase a copy.

Bring on the photos:

Utter perfection!

One of the main reasons this book was of particular interest to me besides the obvious was the extensive information on the Epipyropidae whose larvae are parasites on various species of Homopterans. Epipyropids are yet another rule breaker of the "typical rules of Lepidoptera".

For example Common states that:

1. Larvae of Epipyropidae have been recorded on lepidopterous larvae
2. Females of Agamopsyche threnodes (Epipyropidae) are *PARTHENOGENETIC*


Holy. Shit.

If I remember correctly a while back I think stated something on the possibility of parthenogenetic lepidoptera, if there were any or something along the lines and that how I didn't see how that could be possible blah blah blah.

And how course I was open to any possibility of there being any......and look what happens. Holy shit. There's so much to rant about involving this book. I want to go back there and try and see if I can read the entire thing cover to cover.

I think it's doable. We'll have to see. I'll post more photos in other entries (there's more books to rant about) since for some reason I'm having trouble uploading more pics.

God bless you I.F.B Common.



Bill said...

It's not cheap anywhere, but the lowest price I found on Moths of Australia was on Love your blog.

Anonymous said...

Months of Australia are very colorful and pretty.

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Brittanie said...

Thank you!! Amazon has a copy or two for a couple hundred bucks. XD I hopr to one day by some miracle be able to purchase a copy. Do you know why it went out of print in the first place?

Afaik the author is still kicking so I don't understand why it's out of print.

Thanks for reading. So happy you love it. *^^*

Jace said...

These specimens butterflies are beautiful,Worth having!!!

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retriever said...

Lovely collectie, nice articles and fotos, greeting from Belgium

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Kurtise Templeton said...

Did you ever get a copy? Also do you have a photo of the cover? I am also chasing this book!! I have some of commons other works but not this one.