Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 13, 2011 6:06:37 GMT -8
I have a friend who has recently been added to the ranks of us 'butterfly murderers' that is most interested in predominantly white butterflies and moths. So things with minimal color, black and white is fine, but mostly white.
What would be considered a premier butterfly or moth that would fall into this categorization? The obvious one that I think of immediately is Thysania agrippina but I am sure other folks with more experience know of alternatives which might even be better for a new collector. I know virtually nothing about non-US Lepidoptera so I'm not even sure what's out there. I am thinking of this because I need to come up with a gift, so I'm curious primarily about species that are readily available and of course LEGAL.
Any and all suggestions are extremely appreciated.
Well do not think these are best in the world but they are a start. Parnassians ( parnassius ) are high altitude butterflies that can be found in the mountains of the USA and Europe. It is reported that some fly when there is still snow on the ground. They are very cold hardy. They often have red dots or patches in their black spotted and bared white wings. The Whites ( Pieridae ) are one of the most wide spread groups in the world found on almost every continent. Many species to be found with spots, patches and stripes of black on white wings. Some Pieridae also have a little color often on the wing undersides like yellow, orange, brown or red. Whites are often found in fields and disturbed places. But some like the woods like the Mustard White - Pieris napi - that is rarely seen in open places.
Now I know a premier butterfly to have would be a White Monarch from Hawaii. There is a lady there that breeds them. If you contact her take grate care what you say ( do not say anything about collecting insects ) because she is probably some one known as a "butterfly hugger". Butterfly huggers hate insect collectors. They refuse to talk to them or sell live stock or dead stock to them. I know this from experience with some one els that I talked to that had rare cream colored Gulf Fritillaries. Now here is the ladies web sight and her e mail that rears the rare White Monarchs:
Post by lordpandarus on Sept 14, 2011 19:21:45 GMT -8
Ken Thorne sells Morpho luna and I saw it at several places.
i'm not sure if Mexican butterflies are "legal" as such (from the point of view of the Mexican government) , but I wouldn't hesitate to order some compared to other species that are on Cites like Buthanitis or Teinopalpus .Just like the Brazil stuff...I just grab specimens when I can in auctions or stores
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 15, 2011 5:25:08 GMT -8
Not legal, just ignoring those non-legal suggestions. There's one from India too listed. Without paperwork, they're illegal is my understanding. Not being a buyer to avoid this in general, I'm going to err on the side of extreme caution.
I appreciate taking the time to answer my request regardless, I will just extract from the responses what I want.
Maybe, if you go to Southern Texas, maybe you'll find a rare stray of Morpho luna, and then you wouldn't have to worry about importing it from Mexico, because you caught it here. One was seen in the US a number of years ago. Maybe, you'll get lucky, someday. Jeff Prill
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 15, 2011 6:38:51 GMT -8
I can just picture camping out for months on the US-Mexican border like a crazy man. I wonder if that really is ever fruitful or if we have border patrol for that too? No Mexican renegade butterflies taking advantage of our wonderful American flowers allowed
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 16, 2011 5:56:52 GMT -8
Probably you are right, but the American USFW might not have better things to do than to burst your collecting bubble with a huge fine and possible confiscation of your specimens should you end up with a Mexican butterfly and no permits, or Indian or Australian. And I'm not sure that even Mexican authorities wouldn't at least get a kick out of pinching a foreign collector, especially one from a wealthier country. I suspect bribes might be involved which only confounds the degree of illegality. I just avoid anything questionable completely if at all possible.
Just a theoretical question because I have little experience in these matters- what would you do if you did camp out on the US-Mexican border and actually did find some species that are never in the US except for a rare stray, like M. luna? How do you document that it is collected legally because it is US? Seems like making a tag is an easy way to lie and sell things you purchase illegally or something but on the other had there isn't like a 'certificate of authenticity' attached to the butterfly when you net it so how do you show you got yours in Texas, as uncommon as it might be, should it happen? This problem would stop me from collecting M. luna in Texas even if I did see one, which means no record in the long run for future study. I would be afraid of being accused of taking it or getting somehow under the table or whatever. This thought came up with the protection of Cassius and Ceraunus blues too in the other thread, since mine are the ssp. that are now protected. If you get something legally that is suddenly changed in status afterward, there isn't really a system that I know of to use to protect yourself beside the garbage disposal. But that hardly seems fair (to me the collector or to the butterflies that were killed for collection that are now 'bad' specimens to have) or reasonable in terms of future scientific use of my collection so I'm sure there must be something that can be done to show the veracity of your collection data. Who would get official documentation for something they weren't expecting to become protected? You know what I mean? Making problems for me when I try so hard to avoid them.
Post by saturniidave on Sept 16, 2011 10:05:33 GMT -8
A photograph of the live specimen with a point of reference would do the trick I would imagine. As to specimens in your collection becoming protected, as long as they were collected before the date they were protected they should be fine. That is to say they should be fine in your collection, but selling them is a different matter.
I started life with nothing and I still have plenty left.
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 19, 2011 8:41:01 GMT -8
I hardly think a reputation in Entomology means anything at all to the authorities here- John Kemner, a man with plenty of entomological reputation, learned this as did all the researchers who benefited from his illegally collected Mexican Hesperids. Paperwork matters, that's it period in the US so far as I can tell. Maybe things are different where you are nomihoudai. The laws here historically not only made those specimens illegal, whether or not you claim they are collected legally because you are so "reputable" (some national collections, for example, had material confiscated)- and even further, all recipients of said specimens and anything else the agents who may or may not be very informed deem "questionable" can have their specimens all confiscated too. Not great advice for US folks I don't think as our legal history clearly demonstrates.
Are you in France by chance (I say just because of name, could be completely off base here)? Seems that it is much more entomology-friendly there, I'm envious. In fact while I was there the last two times I had a chance to browse around and I ran into may little shops that had all kinds of taxidermy from shells to birds and mammals and lots of insects of course, some right in Paris in Monteparnasse district. Would not find something like this in downtown NY, for example, just clothing and coffee. It's a little strange being not exposed to it besides deer antlers and such, but fascinating and an interesting social more that deviates from a lot of the neighboring countries and the US. Scientists and amateurs alike would really benefit from more reasonable treament like this everywhere else. Is this the case? And do you have any idea why this type of curiosity thrives there where it is often unjustly demonized elsewhere? Here some people really consider you almost a murderer for pinning a butterfly, as though it is so much different from a beetle or fly.
Lol, wollastoni. I'll pin it in a display made of ebony with a cushion made of CA condor down, wrap it in a tiger hide for presentation.
Post by wollastoni on Sept 19, 2011 8:54:57 GMT -8
starlight < in France, there is a list of protected species and protected areas. If you respect the law, then no authorities will harass you with paperworks, customs and so on. Let say our police is concentrated on real traffics (drugs...). It is the same in most European countries.
When on field collecting in France, 99% of people are nice and just stare a bit at you and then go away. 1% are aggressive. But I would say it is the same in Canada, in Asia where I have been many times.
When you talk about your passion to others : let say 50% of people will think you are totally crazy. Others will find that funny.
As in the rest of the world (except maybe Japan), people prefer to go to cinema, danceclubs, football games instead of collecting leps.
About the store in Montparnasse, I guess you are talking of Deyrolle shop. It is a fantastic place, but it is more an heritage of a glorious past (19th century) than a very fashion shop where all Parisians love going. www.deyrolle.com/magazine/spip.php?article153
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2011 8:56:48 GMT -8 by wollastoni
Post by nomihoudai on Sept 19, 2011 9:54:59 GMT -8
>from his illegally collected Mexican Hesperids
...well I guess the word ILLEGALY was the problem there. My remark on getting a reputation was not meant to give you the right of doing illegal activities based on your countries legislation but it was meant that it will give you the credibility that a stray of Morpho luna is found in Texas when you say so. When you got reputation among fellow entomologists working full-time at an institution an the police turns up for your Morpho luna a few phone calls should do the trick to verify it actually came from there ( not to lie for you if it didn't)
Now for the other question, I am not sure if it was meant for me, but anyway,...my first name is Claude and I come from a country that is considered francophone, but I am pretty horrible at speaking French. I am speaking about Luxembourg. My country is somewhat collecting unfriendly...it is only allowed under permits, you can get the permits with scientific purposes in mind, but it will give you a huge amount of stupid, unnecessary paperwork. Because of that I like to simply cross the borders to Germany, France and Belgium and collect there considering the local regulations. France is pretty nice for collecting butterflies, it still has a nice diversity and the protected species are rather well tought off and there is just a few of them.
Furthermore my country disregards if a species is protected in the country of origin as I guess in most countries here in Europe. The police has better things to do... a few times a year a killed drug smuggler/dealer turns up in the capitol city and they have better things to do than going after a butterfly which came from Mexico that didn't have the correct papers with it.
Thx Olivier for posting the link, I already spoke to my girlfriend that we will need to visit Paris soon Even tough prieces might be higher in that shop I would like to acquire such a "piece of art" from a kind of shop that is dissappearing in our society.
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2011 9:58:14 GMT -8 by nomihoudai
Post by wollastoni on Sept 19, 2011 10:10:18 GMT -8
Well Deyrolle prices are very high indeed.
He is known to be the best taxidermist in the world, so his best mammals (with CITES) can worth 100000 € or more... I know he has many customers in Persic Gulf, Russia with very large pockets. This shop is more and more seen as a modern art shop.
But yes it is mandatory to have a look to Deyrolle shop and MNHN when you are visiting Paris ! A scene of last Woody Allen's film was shoted at Deyrolle's. This shop is really magical ! Although their butterflies are not interesting for collectors (high price for common species).
PS : your french is very good.
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2011 10:12:23 GMT -8 by wollastoni
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 20, 2011 5:58:09 GMT -8
Yes, Deyrolle. It is very impressive, there are a lot of weird things in there that you certainly would have a heck of time getting a hold of should you be so inclined. Everything for sale though, if you have "very large pockets." I saw other similar shop near the Seine (none as fancy and impressive, but still taxidermy) and in other cities in France too, I was delighted to see that dead insects were not just the stuff of the occasional insect show that caters strictly to hobbyist but rather just a normal shop on any old street. I don't think such a thing exists nearby me at all, probably fairly scarce in the US altogether I would guess. I've never seen one. Just places with odd hunting trophy of a deer, moose or fish and usually not the sole focus.
I wonder why France has maintained this sensibility so well compared to a lot of its neighbors? Just curious. I like it, I wish more places were like France. Japan goes a bit over-board for me, there's a line between interest in the natural world and complete and utter exploitation thereof that I think Japan crosses in my mind in many circumstances, but nonetheless the interest in scientific hobbies is quite fascinating.
I think your English is good too, nomi. I see what you mean about reputation- my feeling here is that it still wouldn't matter, I think once authority has decided to become a pain in your but then they will prosecute anyway because it becomes about winning and losing vs. the actual transgression of the law and whether or not the specimen was gained lawfully and valuable in terms of scientific information. Of course I haven't run into this, but it's my impression from people who have and from people in other fields that run into similar difficulties. You give a simple man some power and boy will he ever want to exercise it.
I visited Deyrolle some years ago and in the supplements boxes I found 2 pairs Euphaedra overlaeti (2 pairs) ! the only I have ever seen for sale. otherwise, yes it is very expansive and without scientific interest.
s'il n'y pas de solution c'est qu'il n'y a pas de problème ! akuna matata ....
Post by starlightcriminal on Sept 20, 2011 10:31:43 GMT -8
Wollastoni I was mentally postulating that was the reason- the great Victorian era of imperial exploration and discovery. Europe basically revealed the world in the terms which we know it now, at great cost in some cases of course. Just wondering if it was remnant or if there was some other newer cultural phenomenon that make people more excited about traditional natural history fields than here in the US where we are heavy medicine or non-educated. Quite a few papers out currently about the general suspicion and disregard of science in our current social climate, I guess short of our own Victoria we won't be making much progress on that front. I hear every season when love bugs appear that they are a result of scientists "releasing them to see what would happen" which is absolutely crazy. But they pop up twice a year and always at least a few people want to mention it to me when I say I am scientist, as though my field is at all related or as though they even know what they are talking about. Just an example and a small one, but it's a pervasive attitude I run into a lot.
It's not so much the Deyrolle has these super rare unknown or under-collected organisms, it's the sensibility that drives a culture to be supportive of the idea of collection and study that I'm curious about. I'm sure there's a degree of "ooh, that's pretty" that goes into what is available at these types of places, but the fact that they exist, that people don't see a pinned butterfly and think you are a killer or a crazy person, indicates that the way these types of things are perceived is very different than it would be by the general public of the US. At best insects are farmed like livestock for wedding releases and stuff like that. But rarely do you encounter someone who collects to see what's out there, what they can observe that might deviate, and so on as I hear so many of you from elsewhere discussing. I bet the larger percentage of them here are professionals or businessmen. Much less personal scientific curiosity I think. I could be completely wrong though, it's just the impression I get through dealing with the public. I don't have any real numbers, but I do live in a place with professional entomologists galore along with all the other fields around, so I would expect it to be even more science-friendly here than in an average city as there isn't much else but assorted sciences going on here (we have no industry to speak of, just education and research on the public level).
Thanks for the insights, another interesting topic tackled by the great minds of insectnet