Very happy to get these two rarities and just off the boards. Delias catocausta eefi [ Mastright 1990 ]. At moment retained as a subspecies of the nominate which was discovered by Meek in 1911 on Mount Goliath. This taxon will almost certainly be proved to be a good species.
Here is a real beauty that I managed to get at Juvisy, the truly stunning and very rare Delias bagoe bagoe [ Boisduval 1832 ]. This female specimen was captured on the Lelet Plateau in the Schleinitz Mountains of New Ireland in 2012 at 1100 meters.
This Delias species was discovered during the French expedition , the first voyage of the Astrolabe [ 1826-1829 ] led by Jules d, Urville.
BTW, from the same river bed in Siobri, this nice guy, not uncommom but rather difficult to catch because flying quickly, close to the ground, between rocks where it's not easy to use the butterfly net : G. weiskei.
First encounter with weiskei is unforgettable : a kind of violet light moving fast ....
G. weiskei was mud-puddling with Delias heroni, D. kenricki, D. angiensis, D. microsticha flavopicta et Delias caroli caroli.
Here is a real beauty that I managed to get at Juvisy, the truly stunning and very rare Delias bagoe bagoe [ Boisduval 1832 ]. This male specimen was captured on the Lelet Plateau in the Schleinitz Mountains of New Ireland in 2012 at 1100 meters.
This Delias species was discovered during the French expedition , the first voyage of the Astrolabe [ 1826-1829 ] led by Jules d, Urville.
I have a very rare copy of Boisduval Jean-Alphonse "Voyage de découvertes de l'Astrolabe. Faune entomologique de l'océan Pacifique, 2 vol. + atlas" for sale ...
There is a manuscript signed letter from Dumont d'Urville to Dr Boisduval dated 1° november 1835 where He ask the famous entomologist if he could present him a fellow entomologist and also announcing him that He lost his daughter from the terrible Cholera ! (scans attached) There is also a scan of P. bagoe description.
P.S. : I don't know how you manage to post smaller pictures
Thanks Michel for sharing your copy of this rare work with a description of D.bagoe. At the moment I am not buying rare books because of those rare butterflies that I need for my collection. The Delias bagoe specimen I have shown is not in fact a male but the even rarer female. I have changed the original post accordingly. Peter.
Another recently acquired rare Delias species, a pair of the lovely and rare D. totila with the data Schleinitz Mountains, 750-1000 meters, November 2003. Not perfect but still a very nice couple. I do like these.
The Lambertus Toxopeus Delias butterflies of New Guinea.
Richard Archbold [ 1907- 1976 ] was a very wealthy American Zooloogist being the grandson of an oil magnet. Encouraged by the brilliant biologist Ernst Mayr, he organized and led several expeditions to New Guinea. The most important expedition for butterfly/Delias discoveries was the 1938/1939 Archbold expedition to the central Ranges of West New Guinea. The exploration of New Guinea had now been taken a stage further than the earlier collecting expeditions. To reach the remote areas of the Central Ranges Archbold would use a giant Catalina flying-boat, the Guba. During a reconnaissance flight, the huge Grand or Baliem valley was discovered with its dense population. For his expedition Archbold had a large Dutch Miltilary contingent and would use Dyak tribesmen. He had an expert team of Dutch and American scientists. Archbold engaged the distinguished Entomologist Dr Lambertus Johannes Toxopeus [ 1894-1951] and he had an assistant Mr. J. Olthof who would also collect and prepare the insect collections. Toxopeus was born in Java and attended the University of Amsterdam, later returning to Java as a teacher becoming a professor at Bandoeng in 1949. Toxopeus was an acknowledged expert in Indonesian Lycaenidae and Hesperiidae. A very tall man, Toxopeus was a gifted and perceptive researcher. During World War Two he was interned in a concentration camp.
Lambertus Johannes Toxopeus. Arriving at Lake Habbema with his collecting gear.
Walter Karl Johann Roepke.
The stage was set, the advance expedition party arrived in Hollandia [ Jayapura ] on the north coast of New Guinea in April 1938 and the last party would leave just over a year later in May 1939. In Late June the giant Guba landed on Lagoons near the Idenburg [ Taritatu ] River and set up the Bernard base camp. In July the Guba landed on the high altitude Lake Habbema to the north and set up another Base camp. The expedition would explore the area between the two base camps and the Wilhelmina Top lying to the south of Lake Habbema. It seems little collecting was achieved in the then unexplored main Baliem vally, probably due to the uncertain nature of inhabitants and the location of the expedition camp. Also included here are those Delias discovered by a small 1939 Dutch Scientific expedition to the Wissel [ Paniai] Lakes.
Back in Java, Toxopeus started a manuscript on the new Delias he had collected on the Third Archbold expedition. The work on the manuscript was resumed after the War but in 1951 Toxopeus was tragically killed in a car accident in Java at Bandung in 1951. Walter Karl Roepke 1882-1961] born in Poland of German parents finished the Toxopeus manuscript. Roepke published a full account of the new Delias captured during the Archbold expedition in 1955 [ The Butterflies of the Genus Delias Huber [ Lepidoptera] in Netherlands New Guinea. Nova Guinea vol 6 [ 185-260, 4 plates].
Most of scientific names were those of Toxopeus, those marked with asterisk are those of Roepke.
Below is a list with notes on the new Delias species and subspecies captured at the various camps starting with Araucaria camp at 850 meters and ending with Lake Habbema where the the higest altitude a Delias species was recorded was at 3300 meters. . The two higher camps high up on Mount Wilhelmina produced no Delias species. All the camps mentioned can be located on the excellent map shown below.
Map of the collecting camps during the Third Archbold expedition.
Araucaria camp 850 meters. March-April 1939. 4 kilometers southwest of Bernard [ Base] camp on the Idenburg River. This camp was set up by the Araucaria creek, a small tributary of the Sahoweri River. The Araucaria camp was in a pristine uninhabited valley, undisturbed by man. Two new Delias species and three subspecies were described from here . Delias sphenodiscus. This is rare distinctive species with a very limited distribution and belongs at present to the geraldina group. Delias Parennia. [isse group] probably only a form of D. ennia. Delias geraldina siderea. A frequent species but like most Papuan delias, the females are rarely encounterd. Delias kummeri fumosa. Delias discus apodiscus. A distinctive subspecies with the hindwing spots missing on this beautiful species.
Rattan camp 1200 meters .Feb-March 1939. Six Kilo southwest of Bernard base camp This camp was situated on a steep slope at the head of the Araucaria creek. Two new subspecies of Delias was taken here and one of these is now regarded as a distinct species. Delias cyclosticha. Orginally thought to be a subspecies of D. lecerfi by Toxopeus and published as such by Roepke. Delias nais holophaea.
Sigi camp 1500 meters. February 1939. Six kil southwest of Bernard Base camp. A small camp set up by the sigi creek, a small tributary of the Sahoweri River, primary for insect collecting. Among the 53 species of butterfly collected here were two new Delias subspecies. Delias hypomelas fulgida. Most subspecies of hypomelas are now considered to be synonymous with the nominate race. ligata interpolata 1450-1500 meters.
Mist camps 1800 meters. January 1939. 15 kil Southwest of Bernard Base camp. Butterflies were very scarce here but despite this two new Delias subspecies was captured. However the moths were numerous especially the Noctuidae with up to 80 species recorded on warm foggy nights. Delias alepa orthobasis. Delias campbelli microleuca. 1450-1600 meters.
Moss Forest camp 2800 meters. October-November 1939. 9 Km north-east of Lake Habbema. A very productive collecting camp which was high up in montane forest at the head of the Ibele River valley Where a number of rare Delias were captured. Lambertus Toxopeus did all of the collecting in the Ibele Valley. *Delias flavistriga. Orginally thought by Roepke to be a subspecies of the uncommon D. mesoblema. Delias luctuosa archboldi 2700-2800 meters. This beautiful delias species named by Toxopeus is a fitting tribute to the leader of the expedition Richard Archbold. Delias antara. 2700 meters. Orginally described by Toxopeus as a subspecies of D. eichhorni. Delias germana. Again orginally described as a subspecies of D. eichhorni. Delias autumnalis 2800 meters. Another lovely Delias of the Clathrata group. Orginally thought to be a subspecies of Delias mira. Delias wollastoni bryophila . 2700-2800 meters. Most authors regard this subspecies as synonymous with the nominate race. This wonderful Delias remains a race butterfly. Delias Klossi chrysanthemum. 2600-3000 meters. Another striking and uncommon species. Delias fascelis ibelana. 2600-2700 meters. Orginally described as a subspecies of D. cuningputi.
Delias fascelis ibelana.
Delias luctuosa archboldi
Ibele camp 2220 meters. November to December 1938. 18km north-east of Lake Habbema. Located lower down the Ibele river, a tributary of the Baliem river in the narrow inhabited limestone and sandstone Ibele valley. As with the higher Ibele Moss Forest camp, another rich Delias collecting locality. Several species that were captured in the higher camp were again located here. Delias walshae. 2250 meters. A rare species of the Clathrata group. Orginally described as a subspecies of D. Mariae. Recongnized as distinct species by Yagi###a in 1993. Delias rosamontana 2200-2300 meters. A pretty little species of the Weiskei group. Well named with its hindwing white central areas tinged with pink. A very nice species. *Delias toxopei 2250 meters. Named in honour of Toxopeus by Walter Roepke. * Delias zebra 2200-2300 meters. According to Mastright and Davenport [ 2011] this very striking butterfly is a form of Delias nais. Delias argentata. Recently suggested to be a form of D. hyomelas. Delias hypomelas lieftincki. Delias catisa aurostriga. 2250 meters. A member of the eichhorni group. Delias callista calliparela. A beautiful species of the Iltis group. Delias hapalina amoena 2250 meters. A species of the weiskei group. *Delias meeki hypochrysis. recorded from several localities in the Baliem area. Delias fascelis ibelana. Delias germana. Delias autumnalis.
Delias zebra zebra - form of nais?
Delias meeki hypochrysis
Baliem Valley camp 1700 meters. December 1938. The expedition manuscript mentions this camp was placed in the most sterile region of the valley and further up where virgin forest remained would have been a far richer collecting site. It is notable that even when the Archbold expedition passed through the valley, the entire northern slopes were deforested by the large human population. A two new Delias subspecies were recorded here. *Delias meeki hypozantha. up to 2800 meters. Delias aroae balimensis. Now thought to be a geographical variation of the nominate aroae.
Lake Habbema 3000 meters July to September 1938. Two high altitude Delias species were recorded from here. Delias carstensziana alcicornis. 3300 meters. A very high altitude delias species. alcicornis is probably a geographical race of the nominate. Delias leucobalia ericetorum. Another uncommon species.
Delias carstensziana alcicornis. A lovely high altitude species.
Wissel [ Paniai] Lakes June to November 1939. KNAG expedition It has been wrongly supposed elsewhere that the new Delias captured at this locality were discovered during the Third Archbold expedition. However in the summary expedition report there was no mention of a visit to the Wissel lakes which were first seen from the air by Frits Wissel in 1936. The new Delias here were in fact discovered by a small expedition of the Royal Netherlands Geographic Society [KNAG] . A small party of scientists led by Charles Le Roux with a detachment of marines and convicts made the very arduous journey overland through thick jungle to reach the newly discovered Wissel Lakes, where they set up base camp at Enarotali. The Delias on this expedition were almost certainly captured by the Zoologist H. Boschma because Toxopeus named a subspecies of the rare D. mariae in his honour. The following Delias were published along with those of the Third Archbold expedition by Walter Roepke in 1955.
Delias hiemalis . A rare species of the Clathrata group. Originally described as a subspecies of Delias mira Delias abrophora. A beautiful little species of the Geraldina group. Delias arabuana. Orginally described as a subspecies of D. mesoblema. Delias geraldina vaneechoudi *Delias catisa wisseliana Delias mariae boschmai. Another rare species of the Clathrata group. Named by Toxopeus in honour of H. Boschma. Delias germana heliophora. Orginally described as a subspecies of D. eichhorni *Delias toxopei morosa 1800 meters. Delias hapalina adnexa. Delias phippsi wisseli. A small species of the Weiskei group. Delias strix [ Yagi###a 1993] Orginally described by Roepke as* D. paniaia but invalid due to D. fascelis paniaia.
The Third Archibold expedition 1938/1939 was a monumental scientific expedition and the Delias butterflies are only a small but very important part of the wealth of new discoveries made by the expedition.
Much more information and photographs on the various expedition campes and routes with excellent photographs can be found in The Summary of the 1938-1939 Richard Archbold Expedition, Bulletin of the AMNH at this link
Also for additional photographs of the expedition see The Arnold Arboretum of Harvald University: Leonard John Brass. At this link
Post by wollastoni on Oct 16, 2013 11:47:48 GMT -8
Very interesting post, thanks a lot Peter !
Interesting to read that the Baliem Valley was already deforested in those times. True that the Dani tribe (who live in the Baliem valley) was a more "advanced" agricultural tribe and thus more populated. Agriculture = more population = less forest...
Hi Olivier , I am pleased that you enjoyed the post and I hope others might that are interested in the Delias butterflies of New Guinea. The thread was written as a tribute to Lambertus Toxopeus who did not live to see his manuscript of Delias butterfly discoveries in New Guinea published. Although Roepke did a magnificent job of finishing the Toxopeus manuscript , describing some of the new Delias, most of the new names and descriptions of the new species and subspecies were those of the latter. Toxopeus captured many of the new species and subspecies himself during the Archbold expedition and was an outstanding field lepidopterist, as well as a taxonomist. Full credit should also go to Richard Archbold who financed the huge operation and whose inspirational leadership and planning with the use of the giant Gruba aeroplane made the expedition an outstanding success.
I expect much of the Baliem forest was cleared by the large native population long before Archbold team explored the valley for the first time. Good forest remains in the expeditions best collecting locality, the Ibele Valley which leads up southwards from the Baliem. I know this because this rich locality is sometimes visited by Ornithologists for its wealth of bird species which include the remarkable Birds of Paradise.
Two recently acquired specimens for my collection, the Gorgeous uncommon beauty from the Schleintz Mtns, New Ireland, Delias madetes madetes. Both are male specimens and a lovely upperside in this species too. The upperside specimen is far from perfect but was a freebie, so I was pleased with both. A wonderful Delias butterfly
A photograph of my best Delias inexpectata [ Rothschild 1915] specimen showing its very beautiful underside. This specimen was captured in the Waa valley above the Freeport mining town of Tembagapura at 2100 meters. It is known that A.F.R Wollaston traveled down the Waa valley after his unsuccessful attempt on the Carstensz peaks and it was here that he probably discovered Delias inexpectata during Feb-March 1913.