The butterflies of West Africa are generally well known, but there are no country-by-country field guides for the interested amateur naturalist. The butterfly fauna of The Gambia is not particularly diverse in a West African context, but it does contain interesting elements of both Sahelian and Guinean Savannah species, because the country is located at the interface of these two major biomes. As a result of the distinct wet and dry seasons there are different butterfly species assemblages at different times of the year, with some species present year round.
The rainy season and early in the dry season (November and December) are certainly the best times to see the greatest diversity of these magnificent insects. However, despite their highly apparent nature, there is still a great deal we do not know about the Gambian butterfly fauna, including the true diversity of species that occur within the country. Indeed, several species are recorded for the first time in this book.
The author is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Faculty of Life Sciences at The University of Manchester. He has spent several years in The Gambia and is also the author of several other field guides in addition to numerous scientific papers.