African Queens and their Kin

African Queens and their Kin

A Darwinian Odyssey

This book is the only biography of this butterfly for 30 years, written in an engaging style by Dr David A.S. Smith, PhD, a world authority in his field. It is packed with data accumulated over 47 years of research, including much material published for the first time. The text is accompanied by 80 centred plated with over 350 colour images, 22 maps, as well as tables, graphs, boxes with special information and numerous diagrams of phylogenetic relatedness.

The book is targeted  at academics and dedicated amateurs from around the world with interests in the genetics, behaviour, ecology, ecological chemistry, speciation, parsitism and phylogeography of butterflies, as well as entomology in general.

Now at a great discount!


Author: David A.S. Smith
Publisher: Brambleby Books
Year of Publication: 10 November 2014
Format and Pages: Hardback, 848pp
ISBN: 9781908241153
Retail Price: £90
Our Discount Price: £35

Sample text from African Queens and their Kin

Shortened Contents List


PART I: The Genus Danaus

          1. Introduction

          2. Lives of the Danaans

3. Who’s Who among the Danaans?

PART II: African Queens and their mimics

            4. Nature’s tablet: the inheritance of wing colour pattern

          5. Daughters of Danaus: all-female families

          6. Sons of Aegyptus: male killing

          7. He proposes, she disposes: mate choice

          8. I llicit liaisons and the Wallace effect

          9. The rank-scented many

          10. Things are seldom what they seem

          11. The Diadem: dupe or auxillary?

          12. The Queen’s Diadem

          13. Allies and auxiliaries

          14. Epilogue





Geographical Index

Subject Index

Taxonomic Index


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Reviews and readers' comments

This is a lovely book, of substantial scholarship, based on the life's work of the author...He is a world expert on butterflies, shown brilliantly in this book.

For those interested in butterflies this book is a must. But those with a keen interest in evolution and natural history will find much to interest them. I for one am delighted to have this excellent book in my library. It will be a constant source of useful information for talks on natural history...and evolution. I recommend this book highly.--A. Campbell, Zool. J. of the Linnean Soc.

This is a vast book, in every sense...Every aspect of the biology, ecology, genetics, behaviour, distribution and evolution of this fascinating group is covered in depth...a volume of real substance...-- Guy Padfield, Dispar 

'David's book is a monumental work that compresses a lifetime of study into one volume. The book not only extensively reviews the biology of the African Queen itself but also deals with the parallel biology of its mimics, such as the Diadem. Its a must read for anyone interested in butterflies, mimicry or indeed genetics and it should act to bring African Queens up to iconic status of their American Monarch relatives.' -- Prof. Richard ffrench-Constant, Centre for Ecology and Conservation, Univ. Exeter

'A masterpiece of scholarship, an awesome and enlightening read.' -- Prof. Hugh Loxdale DPhil, MBE, past President of the Royal Entomological Society 

'...A significant part of David's life lies between the covers of this fascinating and scholarly odyssey; its scope, depth and detail are humbling.' -- John Tennent, Entomologist's Gazette 

Whoever expects a 'traditional' identification completely wrong. There is MUCH more. Indeed, the book presents a firework of fascinating observations and facts on evolution, showing that a simplistic understanding of evolution...does not reflect and explain everything. - The book is targeted at academics but will surely fascinate everybody who is deeply interested in the biology of butterflies. I can warmly recommend it. - Axel Hausmann, Basic and Applied Ecology

‘…This is a beautiful and unique book as well as a fantastic resource … Because of the detailed material, it may well appeal to a wide range of other academics, ecologists, entomologists and animal behaviourists, as well as anyone interested in African and Asian invertebrates.’ -- Grace Upperdine, The Biologist

‘His work is scholarly, authoritative and very extensive and this is an outstandingly interesting book. … Perhaps it might seem that a book about butterflies should not have general relevance to ecologists but I guarantee that there is something for everyone. It might be that the precise detail is not of immediate application but most ecological fields will find much of importance here. This book can be well recommended and is a remarkable achievement. – Mark Young, British Ecological Society

‘…Well written and produced, this is a long book with numerous plates, photographs, tables and diagrams. It is not a light read and written mainly for professional biologists. The author’s hope is that amateur lepidopterists will also find something to enjoy. And indeed there are anecdotes and biographical sections that do just that. But full appreciation of the book’s contribution requires more than just a passing familiarity with a number of disciplines including genetics, evolutionary biology, ecology and statistics. … D. chrysippus ranks among the most abundant and best studied of all butterflies and David Smith’s excellent book reveals even more reasons to continue studying this iconic superspecies. This is a fascinating book for all biologists. – Andrew Wakeham-Dawson, Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine

‘…I recommend this book to anybody interested in evolution ecology, genetics and butterflies … Z. Faltynek Fric, European Journal of Entomology

"This is present-day natural history: chemical defence, camouflage, male-killing bacteria, hybrid zones and population genetics, all in one group of beautiful butterflies." Prof. Walther Traut, University of Luebeck, Germany




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