This monograph brings to sixteen the parts published in a series planned on the Bornean ‘macrolepidoptera’ superfamilies Cossoidea, Zygaenoidea, Bombycoidea (including Sphingidea), Noctuoidea, Geometroidea, Calliduloidea and Castnioidea. The remaining two parts are being drafted and will appear over the next few years, if the vagaries of life permit. The parts printed and dates of publication so far are shown on the back cover.
The author is in frequent communication with the Heterocera Sumatrana team organized by the late Dr E. W. Diehl, and the two series of publications complement each other to provide, for the first time, fully illustrated reference works to a large proportion (25% in the case of the Geometridae) of the very rich South East Asian and Sundanian macrolepidoptera fauna. In turn, they complement a Japanese series on The Moths of Nepal published in 1982, published as supplements to the journal Tinea, and a series of illustrated guides to the moths of Thailand based on the collection of Brother Amnuay Pinratana.
This Bornean series is based on a large amount of recently collected material that gives some indication of habitat preference for the species concerned. Data on early stages and host-plants are being collated and reviewed.
Literature on the Oriental fauna is voluminous but often without illustrations and with poor, superficial descriptions. Synonymy presented often proves to be erroneous. Generic placements and higher classification are often found to be similarly superficial on close examination. This problem is dealt with more fully in the author’s introduction for this Taxonomic Appendix to H.S. Barlow’s An Introduction to the Moths of South East Asia. This series on the moths of Borneo is seen as an opportunity to establish afresh, more stable foundation for the study of the Indo-Australian tropical macrolepidoptera, an opportunity facilitated by access to the wealth of historical material held in The Natural History Museum, London, and other European Museums. The centralization of this material is a boon for the comparative studies necessary to provide the stable foundation just referred to.
The reader must be prepared, however, for major changes to previously accepted generic, or even subfamilial placements. For example, in this part, the review of the subfamilies Herminiinae and Hypeninae is a contribution to work in progress by an international consortium to produce a more satisfactory classification within the Noctuidae.
As the series is completed, it may be revised and reissued in three or four bound volumes as a complete reference work. A field guide incorporating the colour plates is also being considered, and a general index and bibliography are being compiled. Most of the published parts are now on-line at