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Topic: How Genetic studies reveal new relationships, species | Author: Chuck | Replies: 18 | Views: 1243
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Re: How Genetic studies reveal new relationships, species

by Chuck » Thu Nov 30, 2023 2:26 pm

OK, next question! Subspecies.

I know IUCN doesn't recognize subspecies, but we all know it has been commonly used for centuries.

However, as of late, most of what I'm seeing is ssp or populations elevated to (or recognized as) full species. I can't even recall the last time I saw a new ssp described.

How do genetics play into this? The description of Dryocampa kendalli notes a difference in COI of 1.3% (plus morphological and range) from D rubicundra to call it a new species. Papilio appalachiensis COI differs .33% from glaucus.

Is subspecies simply out of vogue? We don't know what valid differentiators might define a subspecies?
Topic: Yearly donation to the forum - Premium Members 2024 | Author: wollastoni | Replies: 5 | Views: 395
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Re: Yearly donation to the forum - Premium Members 2024

by mothman55 » Wed Nov 29, 2023 10:35 pm

Donation just sent. Worthwhile forum, thanks.
Topic: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal) | Author: adamcotton | Replies: 7 | Views: 389
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Re: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal)

by Paul K » Wed Nov 29, 2023 2:29 pm

RIP Mr.Smith
Wow 660 species in small, high altitude country.
In the whole Canada we have here just close to 300 species!

I just checked again and it’s not that small country, just because it is sandwiched between India and China looks so on the maps. Also includes almost all zones of south slop of Himalayan ridge which explain huge diversity of species.
It is for sure good place to visit but unfortunately I don’t think I will have the opportunity to do so.
Topic: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal) | Author: adamcotton | Replies: 7 | Views: 389
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Re: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal)

by Chuck » Wed Nov 29, 2023 2:13 pm

Sounds like a long life well lived.
Topic: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal) | Author: adamcotton | Replies: 7 | Views: 389
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Re: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal)

by adamcotton » Wed Nov 29, 2023 9:58 am

Here is the text of the interesting obituary from The Telegraph, for those who cannot access it:


Colin Smith, maths teacher who became an authority on the butterflies of Nepal – obituary
He spent the last six decades of his life in the Asian republic, where he was known as ‘Putali Baje’, or ‘Butterfly Grandpa’

By
Telegraph Obituaries
9 November 2023 • 6:00am

Colin Smith, who has died aged 87, travelled to Nepal aged 29 to teach mathematics, science and English and stayed on to become an authority on the country’s butterflies.

Nepal is one of the best places in the world to see butterflies. Of the 17,500 or so known species, 660 are found in Nepal, of which 20 are on the endangered list. Smith dedicated more than 50 years to their study, publishing numerous research papers and several books and becoming known by locals as “Putali Baje” (“Butterfly Grandpa”).

Colin Philip Smith was born on November 24 1936 in Highgate, north London, to Ebenezer Smith and Rose, née Boosey. As a boy he often visited an uncle whose collection of butterflies and moths sparked an interest which he pursued during school holidays at Boy Scout summer camps.

After taking a BSc in mathematics at Imperial College London, followed by an MSc at University College, he became a teacher, and in 1966 volunteered to serve with the United Mission to Nepal (UMN), a venture involving a number of Christian groups. “I was told that alongside teaching, I needed to have a hobby, too,” he recalled. “I told them that I collected butterflies.” The UMN suggested that he make a collection from Nepal to bring back home.

Instead he decided to stay, and while teaching at a school in Pokhara he met Dorothy Merow, a fellow teacher who had started a small natural history museum and who persuaded him to collect butterflies for it.

After seven years’ teaching Smith decided to devote himself full-time to butterflies. His rare visits to England thereafter included a trip in 1976 to the Saruman Museum (aka the National Butterfly Museum) to learn the latest techniques for handling specimens.

Back in Nepal, he started writing for local natural history journals and in 1989 published his first major study, Butterflies of Nepal (Central Himalaya). His initial goal was to collect specimens of all the 660 species of butterflies found in Nepal with a view to publishing a comprehensive checklist; later, however, he turned to capturing butterflies with a digital camera. His Illustrated Checklist of Nepal’s Butterflies was published in 1995.

In the early 2000s Smith began working mostly on Nepal’s far more numerous moth species, travelling round the country with a fluorescent bulb and a white sheet, collecting specimens for Kathmandu University. Other publications include Lepidoptera of Nepal (2010) and A Photographic Pocket Guide to Butterflies of Nepal, In Natural Habitat (2011).

For many years Smith lived with the family of a Nepali fellow lepidopterist near Pokhara, but in 1995 he bought a small plot of land nearby and built himself a tiny one-room cottage. Last year he was reported to be living on a British pension of £175 a month along with an elderly allowance of 4,000 Nepalese rupees (around £24.50). “I was maybe the richest man in Pokhara in my prime,” he reflected, “But now I’m probably the poorest.”

In 1995 he made the first of several attempts to be granted Nepalese citizenship, but it was only in 2019, after friends organised a petition, and after Smith had been ill for several years, that the government finally responded, and he became the third foreigner, after Sir Edmund Hillary and Toni Hagen (the first foreigner to travel throughout Nepal), to be granted honorary citizenship.

Nepal is now struggling with the social and environmental costs of mass tourism, but in an interview last year Smith recalled that when he first arrived, there were “hardly any roads, let alone vehicles. Only one foreigner had a bicycle.”

Other than a brother living in New Zealand, Smith had no other close relatives. His wish was to have his ashes scattered on the Seti River that flows down from the Annapurna mountains.

Colin Smith, born November 24 1936, died November 4 2023
Topic: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal) | Author: adamcotton | Replies: 7 | Views: 389
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Re: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal)

by bobw » Wed Nov 29, 2023 8:35 am

The obituary is here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/ ... -obituary/. Although you'll need to sugn up to a free trial to read the whole thing.
Topic: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal) | Author: adamcotton | Replies: 7 | Views: 389
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Re: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal)

by bobw » Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:37 pm

I read his obituary in the Daily Telegraph when I was in my way to the Natural Histiory Museum in London about 3 weeks ago. I told the staff there but didn't think to report it here. I met him a couple of times in the 70s when he came back to London, and he was a very personable and knowledgeable guy. I still have a few specimens in my collection that he gave me. RIP Colin. I'll see if I can find the obituary.
Topic: If you don't go out, you get nothing | Author: Chuck | Replies: 2 | Views: 133
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Re: If you don't go out, you get nothing

by KKarns » Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:04 pm

Right on Chuck! When someone comments on my sizable Coleoptera collection, I say it's not that I have better luck and find more beetles than anyone else, it's just that I probably work harder than most!
Topic: If you don't go out, you get nothing | Author: Chuck | Replies: 2 | Views: 133
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If you don't go out, you get nothing

by Chuck » Tue Nov 28, 2023 7:27 pm

This isn't a field report per se, it's reflection on being in the field.

Looking back on my 2023 research, I went over a month afield chasing Tiger Swallowtails before I captured one. That's a lot of work with about zero payoff.

There's been days I think: it's cool and rainy, I don't want to go. But I go anyway.

There's been nights I think: it's cool and almost a full moon, why bother setting up the MV, checking it at 4:45am, and tear in down again?


And, not surprisingly, if I don't go afield, or don't set up the light, I get nothing.

HOWEVER, now and then, when I do suppress the excuses, I do get something good- even great. Two years ago it was a sphingid from outside our area; this year it was a long-tailed Tiger Swallowtail.

Thoughts? I can't be the only one with excuses. What have you found when you did it anyway?
Topic: How Genetic studies reveal new relationships, species | Author: Chuck | Replies: 18 | Views: 1243
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Re: How Genetic studies reveal new relationships, species

by Chuck » Tue Nov 28, 2023 7:03 pm

Do we have any BOLD experts?

Bold gives me a list of the top 100 matches and the % match to a given barcode.

It also gives me a map with the location of matches greater than 98%. I don't want this. I want a map for only the 100% matches.

Any idea?
Topic: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal) | Author: adamcotton | Replies: 7 | Views: 389
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Re: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal)

by Kirkwilliams » Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:58 pm

I remember chatting to him in the queue to get into the AES at Kempton Park years ago.
Must pull out his book tonight.
Topic: RIP Colin Smith (Nepal) | Author: adamcotton | Replies: 7 | Views: 389
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RIP Colin Smith (Nepal)

by adamcotton » Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:05 pm

I have been reliably informed that the Nepal butterfly expert, Colin Smith, passed away on November 4th in Kathmandu aged 87.

I remember he visited me here in Chiang Mai many years ago (1985?), and I have a signed copy of the 1989 edition of his book Butterflies of Nepal which he sent me. He also wrote many other books on Butterflies of Nepal, and was actively studying butterflies until very recently.

Adam.
Topic: Information: share it or keep it a secret? | Author: Chuck | Replies: 4 | Views: 245
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Re: Information: share it or keep it a secret?

by Chuck » Tue Nov 28, 2023 1:11 pm

Vernon is a driver. Clearly, he has no fear of sharing information for free, the time he's invested- with zero cash return- is amazing.

For most people, it's time. The TIME that I put into my stupid pet projects is disheartening, particularly since I rely on others and can't get what I need.

TIME is what prohibits me from, for example, photographing every specimen in my collection and sharing it. Even at a reduced effort, it's TIME- I keep thinking to photo my Ecuador skippers for John, but can't get to it.

But surely there are those who accumulate specimens of great interest who withhold that information.
Topic: Ornithoptera | Author: Annarobertson1947 | Replies: 2 | Views: 174
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Re: Ornithoptera

by Chuck » Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:40 pm

Since it's a large collection, you may find a US or European buyer who has an import license, and can help step you through AUS export regulations.

It would be interesting to know which Ornithoptera you have obtained over the years, why not share it here?
Topic: Ornithoptera | Author: Annarobertson1947 | Replies: 2 | Views: 174
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Ornithoptera

by Annarobertson1947 » Mon Nov 27, 2023 11:27 pm

I have a reasonably large Ornithoptera collection and as am of advanced years wish to relocate to a new home.
Selling overseas is not permitted and as I'm in Australia i see myself only able to sell to Australian buyers.
If interested send me your wants list on a PM.
Anna Robertson
Topic: Information: share it or keep it a secret? | Author: Chuck | Replies: 4 | Views: 245
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Re: Information: share it or keep it a secret?

by Trehopr1 » Mon Nov 27, 2023 7:21 pm

I would also point out that publishing information which is new gives that author due credit and it will always remain so.

As long as the information is published through all the right channels and by a legitimately recognized outlet then the author has done his part at the "dissemination of knowledge".

What others choose to do with that information is out of the author's hands....

It is a pity that your friends expert knowledge about a particular collectible will really never serve anyone (more than himself) as whatever unpublished knowledge he has gained will die with him someday AND he will never receive due credit for its actual discovery.....
Topic: Information: share it or keep it a secret? | Author: Chuck | Replies: 4 | Views: 245
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Re: Information: share it or keep it a secret?

by Trehopr1 » Mon Nov 27, 2023 6:51 pm

Hi Chuck,

Indeed, a good question and I think Vernon Brou might give us a good opinion of in this matter.

Vernon says he has produced some 400+ papers on entomology related topics over his lifetime. I think that makes him one of the most prolific writers of recent times.While much of his research is based upon the captures he's made in Louisiana, new species descriptions, and general methodology of capture techniques; he has presented NEW scientific information not published previously.

He has certainly proved (time and time) again that many species of lepidoptera in his region are actually multi-brooded and NOT single or double brooded as many past references noted or assumed or plagiarized from older authors.

So, I think he's an ideal guy to reach out to for his opinion as I think he is ably qualified to answer it.

Through his tireless years of research and dedication he has produced much 1st time information not written down or documented otherwise (before).

Perhaps he will read this topic and answer....
Topic: Information: share it or keep it a secret? | Author: Chuck | Replies: 4 | Views: 245
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Information: share it or keep it a secret?

by Chuck » Mon Nov 27, 2023 4:02 pm

EdTomologist wrote on a topic I've been meaning to voice; he wrote "Given that my work is still to be published I don’t want to reveal too much. I also do have a concern regarding individuals using my work to sell man made aberrations but I believe it’s more important to have knowledge freely accessible."

Diametrically opposed to this, a friend of mine is the #1 world authority on a particular antique collectible. He knows EVERYTHING. But he doesn't share it. His reasoning, which has significant concern, is that in sharing the info the fraudsters will be able to accurately reproduce artifacts such that the experts can't tell. But it's more than that- if he were to publish the info then he wouldn't be sole authority.

There is of course some info one would not want to share: that which could land one in trouble, that which could endanger a species or population. But what of all the information we all hold, and don't share via publication or even a post here? I look at BOLD and GBIF and notice how much is NOT there, which is sorely needed. While this info is not intentionally withheld (more likely just don't have the time) it's a shame that it's not shared.

How do we get all this information shared? How do we motivate those who have important data to share it rather than keep it?
Topic: Yearly donation to the forum - Premium Members 2024 | Author: wollastoni | Replies: 5 | Views: 395
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Re: Yearly donation to the forum - Premium Members 2024

by Chuck » Mon Nov 27, 2023 3:46 pm

Again? Already?? I better go check email, glad you posted something.
Topic: Fumigant Lifetime | Author: jhyatt | Replies: 14 | Views: 886
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Re: Fumigant Lifetime

by Chuck » Mon Nov 27, 2023 3:43 pm

Up in the NE Great Lakes area, outdoor humidity is about 65% - 75% for six months, then 30% the other six months. Even with multiple dehumidifiers running sometimes in summer it's a struggle to keep the bug room under 50%. This is when the problems start.

One thing I've found is that once a drawer has an infestation, even minor, it's more inclined to in the future. And, if a drawer gets badly infested, it's more likely to get badly infested again. Maybe they find it easier to feed on already-damaged specimens. Point is, I know which drawers are likely to have a problem. I also flag them with those little stick-on arrows so I can find them easily for inspection.

Another observation- off topic somewhat- is drawers that get infested. When I took over maintenance of the Iveson collection (14,000 specimens, 150 drawers) there were substantial infestations in some drawers, while the drawers adjacent would be fine. Oddly, there seemed to be zero correlation with the seal on the drawer- some badly infested seemed to be extremely well made and well sealed, while some with never any infestation were loose fitted and badly constructed drawers. I never could figure it out.

Anyway, when the garage is sub-zero (25F or less) I rotate four drawers at a time through the garage for three days. Four because that's the number I can carry safely. Only last year did I run out of cold-enough days to do the entire collection. If we had room for a chest freezer I'd get one, but wife says I have too much stuff already, so no chest freezer. A Porsche is also out of the question.