Notodontidae is a family of moths with approximately 3,800 known species. This work gives a taxonomic treatment of the species known from South Africa. The Introduction sets out the way in which species are to be described, then follows an historical account of the study of these moths in South Africa with biographical details of the chief contributors. Much of the material described is in the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History (formerly the Transvaal Museum) in Pretoria.
A checklist of the 99 species treated follows with 44 names reduced to synonymy which is as important as the twelve new species and three genera which are described.
The taxonomic part, including description or redescription of each species, fills the main part of the book. Each species has the original description cited and is then described under the headings: diagnosis, bionomics, and distribution. A dot distribution map is included in each case, which includes all the countries of Southern Africa north to the Zambezi River. In critical cases the descriptions are augmented with illustrations pointing out the differences between closely related species. For newly described species the label data of the type series is given in full. There follows a full list of references and a list of the taxonomic changes introduced.
The genitalia figures, occupying 81 pages, are photographs in monochrome, male and female of the same species alongside each other; in many cases the posterior segments of the male abdomen are also illustrated. The colour plates of adults show life size specimens on a uniform pale blue-grey background in most cases and are of high quality. For some species there are also photographs of blown larvae; the data relating to each specimen illustrated are cited in full.
Colour photographs of live specimens and of larvae of some species follow filling the next six plates, then there are photographs of many of the habitats referred to in the text, indicated also by adjoining maps.