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The featherwing-beetle family (Ptiliidae) includes the smallest British beetle Nephanes titan (pictured right) and even the largest British ptiliids are only 1.2 mm. Their small size has made them unpopular and tends to mean that they’re amongst the last families for a coleopterist to get to grips with. This has been compounded by a gap in the literature: Joy’s (1932) keys are too outdated to be useful and until now there has been no more up-to-date English language key to the British and Irish fauna. However, Michael Darby has written the Ptiliidae chapter for Beetles of Britain and Ireland, Vol. 1 by Andrew Duff. This includes whole-beetle photos illustrating representatives of each of the 18 genera.


  1. Peter McMullen says:

    Hi Mark, Just found my first Ptiliidae in the moth trap and thanks to the keys down to genus Acrotrichis.
    This looks like a fantastic book, if these keys are typical.

  2. Richard Honour says:

    Hi Mark, How do you preserve ptillids, mounted on cards or directly in alcohol.

  3. markgtelfer says:

    I card mine, Richard, but there are those who think storing in alcohol is better – it is certainly easier!

  4. Thanks Mark, I will try on cards.

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