copyright © robin williams
revised: 5-7-2021

books for sale

by Robin Williams

Available books

Self-published books arose from the need to find out more about the subject when starting out. The books are the subject of years of research, practical experience and field work. Prices are designed to cover costs only, including postage. Each is printed when required, volume by volume, and normally despatched within a few days.

Vanellus are publishers of:

'British bumblebees': covers all mainland species,  but tables have special emphasis on the old County of Somerset. Contains descriptions and drawings showing all species and their variations, nesting habits, sizes, abundance and where they are likely to be found. Comprehensive and simple to use, it is another attempt to help people with the tricky points of identification of this difficult family. The problem is that they look easy to pick out from the colour of the bands, but they are astonishingly variable, while many other features must be taken into account. Price £14.

'British hymenoptera: glossary for use with identification keys’. This book was produced as a result of trying to come to terms with and reconcile old and new keys, often using quite different names for the same body part. Describes the terms in two main categories: body parts and general descriptive terms such as colours and specific adjectives. Knowledge of these is vital in coming to terms with keys. This book has relieved the user of a great deal of research. It is being added-to as omissions are found, or when new keys are produced. Price £14.



‘Oak-galls in Britain’, (in two volumes), This large book (over 450 pages) results from many years of research into the deciduous native oak tree galls found on the mainland of Britain. To undertake this, thousands of galls were collected and their inhabitants identified. This included much input from members of the British Plant Gall Society - for which many thanks - as well as from a number of museums.

Volume one contains a comprehensive introduction to the subject, which describes and identifies the galls, discusses the causers, inquilines and parasitoids found within them, together with their flight periods. The second section of this volume is devoted to comprehensive keys to all the known gall inhabitants. Throughout, the aim has been to simplify and make easy a complicated subject. I have tried to avoid as much jargon as possible but some remains which is illustrated in a glossary in the appendices.

The second volume starts with full descriptions of the various sexes for each species of insect found in the galls, covering all important parts of the body set out in a standardised manner. These include average body measurements and sets of derived ratios. Other appendices include a glossary, a summary of key identification points and sources of information. Price £44. (nb. the cover pictures may be altered periodically)


Southern British ants': arising from a need to assemble existing information when starting to involve myself in the subject. This volume does differ in that it definitely confines itself to southern ants and has particular emphasis in tables and findings on the Counties of Dorset and of old Somerset, where I live. Northern ants remain a mystery to me and need local input for adequate understanding. Keys have not been attempted, rather the full use of descriptions and a readily-understood division into families. Many drawings are included to help distinguish between tricky divisions between 'cousins', such as the structures on the antennae of red ants. Price £14.


All these books are individually printed and produced as required, as well as being regularly up-dated as fresh information becomes available. Prices quoted are for first-class delivery in the UK. Overseas delivery, by country. Contact by e-mail Direct contact.

The British Gall Society are publishers of:

'The Natural History of the Rose Bedeguar Gall': this book is the result of over a dozen years of field work studying the insect inhabitants of the Rose bedeguar or Robin's pincushion gall. In addition to descriptions of the insects, it contains interpretations of the findings as well as a CD containing all the records of rearings, including locations, numbers, those people involved and the determiners of the identification. The book is obtainable through the website of The British Plant Gall Society