Butterflies of the Afrotropical Region (PART 1)
All “Butterflies of the World Series” publications have superb colour plates. Hard covers, 35 x 26.5cm.
When the first Butterflies of the Afrotropical Region by Bernard d’Abrera appeared, to international acclaim, in 1980, it was a ground-breaking moment in the history of butterfly literature.
Bernard d’Abrera was the first author to use the term Afrotropical Region to cover the lepidopterous fauna of sub-Saharan Africa, its offshore islands, and the neighbouring landmass of the Arabian Peninsula. Hitherto known, erroneously and mysteriously, as the �Ethiopian Region� (what had the Congo Basin, West Africa and South Africa to do with Ethiopia?), workers were entirely at the mercy of the inexact and primitive offerings of Seitz, and several minor regional works dedicated impotently, to this or that political division of the second largest continental landmass on the planet. Bernard d�Abrera�s bold new work comprised a massive 600 plus pages of accurate (for the time) colour illustrations and text, within a single pair of covers, the whole lot weighing over 10lb., and treating over 3,000 species across all the families. This work has continued to remain the standard reference work for the past quarter of a century. Its greatest consequence has been to revitalise the study of butterflies in the region, and much and vigorous collecting has since taken place across all of Africa, with the result that probably over 400 new species have so far been discovered and described.
A revision of this great and seminal work was now inevitable, but the prospect of adding all the new information to an already oversized book, would have rendered it impossible for the publishers to place the whole within a single pair of covers.
Hence, in 1997 the publisher decided to divide the work into three less cumbersome volumes, and Part I (Papilionidae, Pieridae, Acraeidae, Danaidae, Satyridae) was successfully published. In that volume there was a marked improvement in the quality of reproduction and printing, and nearly 200 new taxa treated and figured.
Part II (Nymphalidae (complete), Libytheidae.) is now being prepared for publication in October 2004, and even better standards of colour reproduction and printing will be evident in the new work. This book will contain approx
335p., with 500 copies available worldwide.
With the generous advice of such notable specialists as Bernard Turlin, Jacques Hecq, Michel Libert, Steve Collins, A.H.B. Rydon and Torben Larsen, over 170 new species, which have appeared in the literature since 1980, will be treated. In particular the following genera will show a marked increase in representation: Cymothoe (approx. 10 new species), Bebearia (approx. 40), Euphaedra (approx. 90) and Euptera/Phaedyma (approx. 20). In addition the author is describing in this work several new taxa of his own, in the genera Euriphene and Charaxes. Part II will also contain an important new essay on taxonomy vs. changes in biogeography, and the concomitant archival importance of historic collections.