Title: The Emperor Moths of Namibia
Author: Rolf Oberprieler
Hartbeespoort, South Africa 1995
ISBN 095838892X / ISBN 0-9583889-2-X
Hardcover, dustjacket, 19x25 cm, 104 pages, numerous colour photos
Emperor moths have an air of grandeur, secrecy and myth about them. They come out of the night for a brief visit to our lights, like demons with large eyes or ethereal fairies with pale colours and long tails; delicate, fragile and mystical. Then they are gone again, for a day or for a year, inexplicable, ephemeral. And so we have given them majestical, celestial and mythological names: emperor moths, Satumiidae, moon moth, apollo moth and epithets referring to heroes, muses and godesses: alcinoe, apollonia, aslauga, athletes, belina, dione, eochroa, gigas, hecate, imbrasia, imperator, menippe, osiris, persephone, terpsichore, vacuna, venus. Their bizarre colours and shapes, their large size and their secretive lives enchant us, stimulate our imagination and appeal to our awareness of art and myth. We therefore collect them, paint them, photograph them, trying to capture their beauty and enchantment and preserve it. This book which treats the 27 species known from Namibia, is the first monographic contribution to the knowledge of the African emperor moths since the work of Pinhey twenty years ago. The comprehensive collection of data on host plants, distribution and life cycles which are presented here, make the Namibian species the best documented ever.