The Harlequin, Taxila haquinus haquinus, female
Books for butterfly watchers
THERE ARE SEVERAL books on the butterflies of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore originally intended to help collectors identify their captured specimens. However, the information, descriptions and photographs contained in these volumes are just as useful to butterfly watchers as they are to collectors.
Common Malayan Butterflies by R. Morrell provides an introduction to the subject. It describes about 100 of the more common species that the beginner will most likely encounter in his initial forays. Some not-so-common species, famous because of their beauty or some remarkable feature, are also included. This book is illustrated with hand-drawn pictures of mounted specimens. This small volume in the Malaysian Nature Handbooks series was published in 1960 by Longman Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
 W.A. Fleming's Butterflies of West Malaysia and Singapore is a handy field guide which identifies the 1,015 species known up to 1983 when its second edition was completed by his widow. It is illustrated with photographs of mounted specimens. This 148-page volume was also published by Longman Malaysia.
 The standard work which will serve well even the most fastiduous lepidopterist or serious student of this subject is The Butterflies of the Malay Peninsula by A.S. Corbet and H.M. Pendlebury. First published in 1934, this classic work, now in its fourth
edition, has been completely revised and updated by Lt Col J.N. Eliot, an authority on the taxonomy of the butterflies found in this region.
 This reference book covers the 1,031 species and 135 subspecies known today (at the time of writing) and is profusely illustrated with photographs of mounted specimens and line drawings to help in the identification of species. The fourth edition was published by the Malaysian Nature Society (which also published the third edition in 1978).
Malaysian Butterflies - An Introduction by Yong Hoi-sen is different from the others in that it is illustrated with photographs of living butterflies instead of mounted specimens. This 152-page volume was also designed as a taxonomic guide containing 270 colour pictures, all taken by the author. Published by Tropical Press Sdn Bhd in 1983, it is perhaps the first and only locally published work to promote observing butterflies in their natural environment as a hobby.
 (This article was published in Sojourn Vol 8 No 2, June-August 1996).

 * Some years after this article was written (i.e. in 2014), prominent Malaysian entomologist Dr. Laurence G. Kirton came out with A Naturalist's Guide to the Butterflies of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, which is richly illustrated with colour photographs of live butterflies taken by various butterfly watchers.
Common Malayan Butterflies Butterflies of West Malaysia and Singapore The Butterflies of the Malay Peninsula, fourth edition Malaysian Butterflies - An Introduction A Naturalist's Guide to ...
This page revised on August 21, 2018. Copyright © Chin Fah Shin