Hi Ron, this is an interesting idea, but at which level do you stop counting the islands? Indonesia is made up of 30 major island systems, but within these you have over 17.000 individual islands that are not connected. For this reason people usually go with range maps (the butterfly can fly a certain distance) and they record only the locality of named types.
I got a similar interest recently, and also looked into Papilio ulysses specifically. I had hoped to go and net it in the wild, as soon as the pandemic is over.
Here is an interesting article giving a scan of the range and subspecies of P. ulysses:
Post by nomihoudai on Jan 26, 2021 10:58:24 GMT -8
The article was actually pure chance. I found it like a day before this topic was started as I was looking into range maps for Achillides. I think the range maps originally come from the Tsukada books (Butterflies of the South East Asian Islands Part I). At least one of the coauthors is part of this forum, so rather thank Adam for the great work
I haven't collected in a long time now. I was toying with the idea of building a Papilionidae collection, but with the added restriction of only self catching or trading them. Excluding Parides and Parnassinae. It will be quite the challenge. I remember Papilio karna flying along a waterfall on Java. There was no way to reach it.
Last Edit: Jan 26, 2021 11:00:28 GMT -8 by nomihoudai
Hello nomihoudai, Many thanks for this impressive article! It is true, the enormous amount of Indonesian islands probably makes the creation of an exhaustive list of P. ulysses locations impossible. My goal was to determinate if the species occurs on smaller islands around the main ones.
Obi Isl. might be a good example. P. ulysses ssp. doherthius ROTHSCHILD, 1898 is flying on Obi Isl. The island is surrounded by few others such as Gomoumu (S. Obi) , Obilatu (W. Obi), Belangbelang (W. Obi), Bisa (N. Obi) , Tapat (NW Obi.) , Tobalai (E. Obi.) . All less than 15km than Obi.
My idea - always for the Obi Isl. example - was to find out if P. ulysses is also flying in those islands.
And same for the Seram, Halmahera, Papua surroundings...
Again, I'm aware it is impossible to be exhaustive on that matter, but any knowledge of occurrences of this species on islands near main ones would be greatly appreciated!
Post by nomihoudai on Jan 26, 2021 11:51:07 GMT -8
Yes I find the question interesting. I do think that they are on most islands that also have the host plant in the overall range. Especially if they are close together. When you look at Halmahera you see that you have ssp. telegonus all the way from Halmahera to Bacan Island. On Obi ulysses is also present and we use ssp. dohertius.
At times it will be difficult to get samples from the small islands as either nobody went there as it costs too much effort, or they did go there, but the locality gets lumped under the name of the closest butterfly trader.
The most interesting box I ever had was from Anambas, which is part of the Riau Archipelago between Borneo and Malaysia. Even on such a distant island you had a common set of small Lycaenidae.
Here is an older thread with pictures of ulysses and you can see the labels. Maybe you can find some more localities, or ask the person that wrote the post for a list:
Well, now you fella's hit a nerve cord of interest with me involving this butterfly so, now I have to spank out an article !
I love this butterfly ! Always have since I first seen it pictured in a now (out of print book) in my local library (1973).
Here is the book title:
And here it is within the pages...
Now you have to understand at the time , I was 12 years old and in the 7th grade. I didn't own any insect books at the time which showed "exotic" species. So for me this book (though limited in scope); was amazing to indulge myself in. Looked at those pic's and read all about so may great species - page by page !
Shortly, after finding this book I received my first copy of the Butterfly Company catalog (a dealer based out of N.Y.). And, to beat all --- they offered specimens of it for sale ! Funny thing is once I got that catalog I ordered many other things over time EXCEPT P. ulysses -- for some strange reason (probably cost).
Anyway, within a couple years (1975) Paul Smarts grand book would come out and indulge me further with this species (with even better pictures).
This species and (all of its related subspecies) remains an ever popular item with collectors. Overseas in Europe it seems there are many who give it (at least) a solid drawer or two's worth of space in the collection.
Our member Nomad has posted on several occasions pictures from Juvisy and the A.E.S insect fairs of P.ulysses (all stunning).
As for myself, well I've only got 4 (one female) because only the most common of the lot have ever been offered here in the U.S. I think all the really great stuff from hitherto smaller places (islands) all gets shipped off to Europe !
Still, the beauty of the species still "hazes" my eyes when I look upon the few specimens I do have of it. It warms my heart on many a cold winter's day to think there is such beauty in this world just "flitting about" some green jungle out there...