A DIGITAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA
“Afrotropical Butterflies and Skippers” is a digital format
encyclopaedia, that currently comprises nearly 4000 pages of
text and images. It contains all the names (generic to
infraspecific, including synonyms) that have been applied to
the Papilionoidea (butterflies) and Hesperioidea (skippers)
of the Afrotropical (= Ethiopian) zoogeographical region.
For each of the more than 10 500 names, the complete journal
reference is given. The type locality/locality for each
taxon is also provided. The distribution for each species
and subspecies has also been included, but is still
complete, and may not be entirely accurate.
The taxonomic portion of the encyclopaedia is based on the
monumental catalogue “Carcasson’s African Butterflies”,
edited by Ackery, and others, of the Natural History Museum,
London, and published by the CSIRO, Australia, in 1995. This
work, unfortunately, included only publications up to about
1990. Publications that appeared between 1990 and 1995, and
which were not included in “Carcasson’s”, have been given
taxonomic priority, should there be non-concordance. Since
1990, almost 500 new species and subspecies have been
described from the Afrotropical Region. There have also been
many other taxonomic changes.
The Afrotropical Region covers sub-Saharan Africa,
Madagascar and other off-shore islands, as well as the
southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula.
The encyclopaedia also includes three bibliographies. Two of
the bibliographies list the references dealing specifically
with Afrotrpical butterflies (more than 4 300 references)
and the third includes references of general interest (over
1 000 references). This should serve as a valuable resource
for accessing both the taxonomic and other recent
Expansion of the encyclopaedia on a continuous basis will
include updating of taxonomic changes and updating and
expansion of the bibliography. In addition, archived
information regarding the biology of each taxon will
gradually be added. This will include data on distribution,
habitat, habits, flight period, early stages, and larval
foods and associations. The adults of more than 1 000
species are illustrated by means of digital images and new
images will gradually be added. A further envisaged
development will be the inclusion of digital images of the
early stages, larval food plants, and habitats.
Enjoy browsing our online encyclopaedia and please give us
your input in the forum.
Thank you for visiting!
-Mark C. Williams