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Topic: RIP Chuck Kondor | Author: chrisw | Replies: 8 | Views: 489
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Re: RIP Chuck Kondor

by Annarobertson1947 » Sat Apr 13, 2024 1:36 am

Only recently i had conversations with Chuch , a delightful man
RIP Sir.
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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Re: Global travel collecting

by kevinkk » Fri Apr 12, 2024 11:55 pm

Chuck wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 7:23 pm Kevin, how in god's name does someone get robbed while conducting field work? What did you do, stumble into a pot field
Chuck, to be fair, I wasn't robbed at gunpoint. Although I've "lost" a kayak and other equipment, it was sneak thieves that saw an opportunity.
This is an interesting thread, and I see that others have French Guiana as a likely destination, albeit the flight issue. Live and learn, in all
respects.
Our parks- yes they need to be protected from mass exodus of biology, I was asked to leave a state park in Calif. after setting up camp, I did notice
that just outside the park, there were no rules and the same bugs were about.
Topic: Collecting in Peninsular Malaysia | Author: centipededede | Replies: 2 | Views: 147
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centipededede
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Collecting in Peninsular Malaysia

by centipededede » Fri Apr 12, 2024 11:47 pm

Hello. I might have a chance to collect some centipedes (mainly focusing on Geophilomorphs and Lithobiomorphs) in Pahang, Malaysia next year. I have read through the legislation covering collecting and exporting biological material and I plan to get in touch with the local branch of the Wildlife and Parks department to enquire about permits.
I will not be collecting in any National Parks or protected areas but I wanted to ask if anyone has had experience with collecting in peninsular Malaysia and safely and legally exporting material collected there. Is it possible to sort out permits and such paperwork without a local collaborator to help with the process? To my knowledge, legislation around collecting is much more lax than in Sarawak/Sabah and Indonesia but I couldn't find much. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Topic: Presentation | Author: wollastoni | Replies: 49 | Views: 10201
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Re: Presentation

by centipededede » Fri Apr 12, 2024 11:40 pm

Hello. I am an undergraduate student from Romania but have been collecting centipedes for around 6 years now and am currently active in centipede taxonomy and systematics.
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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Re: Global travel collecting

by Chuck » Fri Apr 12, 2024 7:23 pm

livingplanet3 wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 6:01 pm Very interesting to read about these various experiences, perspectives and comments - a lot of useful information in this thread, for anyone considering a collecting trip to the tropics.
Really, a lot is applicable to USA as well. Aside from the permit & import element involved with international, the same risks and challenges exist. Then again, the permit issue DOES raise its head in USA with MILLIONS of acres of National Parks, National Monuments, State Parks, wildlife refuges, and even Native American reservations.

Jason D., at Cornell stated "your collection is your legacy" I'm not sure what good a bought and paid legacy is. Having valued a couple collections for donation purposes, I grow intimate with the collector through their personally captured specimens- I know where they went on vacation in 1976, I know when they got serious about collecting, I know which years during which they were at their peak. Some people collect refrigerator magnets to mark their travels but those go in the trash; an insect collection lives on, keeping the memory of that researcher alive.

Kevin, how in god's name does someone get robbed while conducting field work? What did you do, stumble into a pot field?
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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livingplanet3
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Re: Global travel collecting

by livingplanet3 » Fri Apr 12, 2024 6:01 pm

Very interesting to read about these various experiences, perspectives and comments - a lot of useful information in this thread, for anyone considering a collecting trip to the tropics. I myself have only ever traveled outside the US twice; both trips were to Australia, lasted around 6 weeks each time, and included a lot of road travel, but didn't actually involve insect collecting. That was around 25 years ago, and with the life changes that have come since that time, it's a bit hard for me to imagine making such long and involved excursions again. But, time will tell. If I do eventually visit a place such as Peru or French Guiana, it will certainly be much more focused on the experience itself, than bringing back any specimens. I already have far more specimens than I had ever intended to acquire, and I'm sure there are others on this forum who can say the same. :)
Topic: Which kind of roach nymph? | Author: MMCinBay | Replies: 2 | Views: 153
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Re: Which kind of roach nymph?

by livingplanet3 » Fri Apr 12, 2024 5:28 pm

Uncertain, but it may be a nymph of the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) -

https://bugguide.net/node/view/1254066

Over the years, I've used bait stations (large roach) to control this species, with considerable success. In my case, they seem to be more of a seasonal, intermittent problem, than a continuous one.
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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Re: Global travel collecting

by Chuck » Fri Apr 12, 2024 5:24 pm

Thanks Adam, you're the best!

Let me reflect on age. I know a lot of collectors who, like me, planned to go "there" sometime "later." And they never got there. The reason is because by the time the travel became convenient they'd lost the ability.

International travel is brutally expensive (comparatively) when one is young. One trip could be 10% of 20% of the annual salary. And, being young generally brings some level of naivety- however, the young often learn fast.

Then life gets in the way.

Once you have a significant other/ spouse the challenges start: "why do you want to leave me? We could use the money for a house."

Then children. You going to leave the kids for two or three weeks? Leave them for the wife to care for? As a single father, my last three trips to Solomon Islands involved ZERO field work- I went there, did work work, and rushed back. Talk about a shame. This period of your life lasts 20-25 years. When you're done you will not be the same person as before.

All along, costs increase. House. Two cars. Insurance. Family vacations.

Now, with some free time, and some money, I suppose I could go overseas again. But guess what, I don't have the stamina to pull off the extended lack of sleep and physical abuse of field work for sustained periods. My friends in the Pacific clamor for me to come back, free lodging! And I'm sure I'd enjoy the trip, but sure as heck I'd not be the explorer I once was.

Go when you're young.
Topic: Agrias butterflies | Author: wollastoni | Replies: 145 | Views: 11281
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Re: Agrias butterflies

by adamcotton » Fri Apr 12, 2024 4:04 pm

As recommended by Chuck, I moved all the posts below this one to a new topic called Global travel collecting at:

viewtopic.php?t=1554

Please continue that thread there rather than here, so posts about Agrias can continue in this thread.

Adam.
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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Re: Global travel collecting

by adamcotton » Fri Apr 12, 2024 3:55 pm

Chuck wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:55 pm This discussion on Agrias has evolved into an important topic on global travel collecting, I hope it's split out on its own.
I eventually managed to do as requested!

Adam.
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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Re: Agrias butterflies

by kevinkk » Fri Apr 12, 2024 3:23 pm

Chuck wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:55 pm es, there are places to avoid. In USA, the red/blue voting map is a good start- stay out of red areas. The good thing is that there aren't many insects of interest in the red areas. These areas are largely urban areas, and the same rule applies elsewhere- avoid. This is, of course, dependent on the area. And I think John already stated: stay out of bars, strip joints, social demonstrations; and nothing good ever happens after 10pm.
I've been robbed twice in Oregon. In the field. I wouldn't set foot any where near Portland, or any other population center.

That being said, I do have wonderful memories of my trip to the Dominican Republic back in the 80's, it was a group organized by a Florida travel agency, advertised in the Lepidopterist's Society.
Topic: First butterfly of 2024 | Author: Paul K | Replies: 8 | Views: 411
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Re: First butterfly of 2024

by jhyatt » Fri Apr 12, 2024 2:44 pm

eurytides wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:30 am Keep an eye out for pipevine and zebra swallowtails.
They've both been flying in the mountains of Eastern TN for several weeks now, on the odd sunny warm days. But there's been a lot of cool, rainy weather that has kept numbers down.

jh
Topic: First butterfly of 2024 | Author: Paul K | Replies: 8 | Views: 411
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Re: First butterfly of 2024

by Chuck » Fri Apr 12, 2024 1:43 pm

eurytides wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:30 am Keep an eye out for pipevine and zebra swallowtails.
Zebras should be flying in KY as soon as this storm front passes.

Pipevines fly in FL pretty much year round; certainly they are out and abundant by now.

Near Lake Ontario, I did see a Pieris rapae the last few days of March. Since then, nothing. We are one month from the emergency of the Papilio glaucus "spring form" and that's when my work starts- somewhat ironically, I just dug the last thorn from 2023 out of my thigh.
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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Re: Agrias butterflies

by Chuck » Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:55 pm

This discussion on Agrias has evolved into an important topic on global travel collecting, I hope it's split out on its own.

John Shuey's initial post on the topic is loaded with gold, and I'd advise any potential traveler to parse every sentence.

Global travel has never been easier. There are airfields virtually everywhere, thanks to WW2; the only country I can think of that doesn't have air service is Tokelau. You can book lodging almost anywhere directly; you can use satellite imagery to examine the immediate area. You can book a beat up rental vehicle in PNG from Joliet.

When and where to target particular taxa is at your fingertips; no more digging through piles of paper publications, no more letter writing just send email.

Note though, and to answer the OP question, targeting a specific taxon that's generally rare will be done at the cost of ignoring virtually everything else...and that everything else is where the real joy is; it's in finding species that are not commercially viable yet eye opening. As John said, don't go with a list- just go.

Now, I'm having trouble thinking of ANYTHING that's not more easily learned than when done with someone who's done it. The success rate of collecting in a foreign country is highly influenced by having a guide, be it a fellow collector and/or a local guide. This is not to say just showing up alone won't be wonderful- I've done it many times. But then I adapt to cultures quickly and make friends readily, so it's only days until I've hooked up with everyone I need.

I bring what I need- my favorite clothing, nets, envelopes, etc. When I leave, the nets, extra envelopes, ID guides, boots stay behind with young, aspiring commercial collectors. And guess who I call first when I get back in country, or an associate is going to visit that country.

On danger: there are two sources of danger with a common denominator: YOU.

Yes, there are places to avoid. In USA, the red/blue voting map is a good start- stay out of red areas. The good thing is that there aren't many insects of interest in the red areas. These areas are largely urban areas, and the same rule applies elsewhere- avoid. This is, of course, dependent on the area. And I think John already stated: stay out of bars, strip joints, social demonstrations; and nothing good ever happens after 10pm.

"The LIST" referred to is largely a joke. It's compiled by bureaucrats who've never even been to those countries. This list has elevated concerns for countries including Costa Rica, Germany, France, Belgium, etc. Go read the AUS warnings about USA, it's always good for entertainment. As for the "no go" countries like Afghanistan, if you don't know that you shouldn't go, what's there the say...

No, you don't want to run into a cocaine production facility in FARC territory in Colombia. Nor do you want to stumble across an illicit pot field in NY, a meth lab in rural KY, or a human coyote in southern AZ. That's where local guides can both avoid and extract from situations.

But so far as criminals go, the key denominator is YOU. Criminals evaluate risk vs reward, they aren't stupid. So don't increase their reward. Some tourists are an easy mark- gullible, scared, and influenced with the simplest suggestion. Being loud, flashy, and rich increases the reward. But so too does being arrogant, loud, and rude- that increases the SOCIAL reward for punishing cultural violations.

The non-human danger is environmental. Those who are outdoor oriented are at an advantage, even if the jungle is foreign to them. There are dangers- snakes, cliffs, things in the sea, storms. For those who are pansies, they're in for a world of hurt- better to take a cruise ship. Every day NYSDEC publishes a list of rescues in the Adirondack mountains, and my buddies and I laugh our butts off- every one is the same "from NYC area with inadequate clothing." Wait...these are the same mountains we hike, year-round. So really, it's not the environment, it's the individual...some people should just stay inside. But for those who have a bit of outdoor experience, and some common sense, the real dangers of the environment will be recognized and avoided.

One thing that really hasn't been brought up is patience. Developing countries are not on a schedule. If they get around to your permit today, or next Tuesday, is immaterial to them. If you're in a hurry, and start demanding, you'll have problems. If your ride shows up three hours late, well there's tomorrow- unless you're on a schedule. Expect delays, expect a two hour project to take five days. Be patient, and don't get upset. If you plan to jet to Panama for five days and think you'll achieve much, you'll be sorely disappointed. Further to that, most developing country people work on RELATIONSHIPS, and that takes time to develop.

Tropical collecting isn't about bringing home a dollar amount. From the worst perspective, if you're 25 and skip the trip and invest that $5000 for 40 years, it will be worth $51,500. Screw that. Save money elsewhere- don't buy Starbucks every day. An overseas collecting trip IS an investment- not in bugs, in YOU. "The Ugly American Tourist" - don't be that person. Get out, and see the world, experience other cultures, eat other foods, see different environments. SURE you may be scared, and you probably will get frustrated by the lack of speed/progress- this is building relationships and character. It's building a better you. If, like most Americans (and Canadians and Europeans) if you're afraid of spiders and guns and sharks, maybe you won't be when you're done. You'll learn to appreciate the miracle of the flush toilet. You'll learn that indeed you can get by without electricity. And likely you'll sneer at the tourist that complains about having to sit in the airplane center seat for 90 minutes, because you'll know that inconvenience is trivial.

You want to watch TV the rest of your life, stay home. Mow your little lawn, buy your bugs online. Or get out, and build a better you.
Topic: First butterfly of 2024 | Author: Paul K | Replies: 8 | Views: 411
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Re: First butterfly of 2024

by eurytides » Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:30 am

Keep an eye out for pipevine and zebra swallowtails.
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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Re: Agrias butterflies

by Paul K » Thu Apr 11, 2024 2:08 pm

My advice is if you don’t use local organizers like Amazon insects in Peru or Amazon Lodge in French Guiana who will take care of you right at the airport, rent the car at the airport of your destination.
You’ll feel comfortable, safe and have shelter just in case you end up having no place to sleep. You will also be mobile to search for good collecting spots and you won’t be exposed to potential predators, local people are usually friendly but you don’t want to end up face to face with the bad guy in the forest. Keep your eyes open and stay alert.
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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Re: Agrias butterflies

by Paul K » Thu Apr 11, 2024 1:44 am

I can only agree with John’s posts!
If you don’t go collecting in tropics you don’t live your life.
Topic: First butterfly of 2024 | Author: Paul K | Replies: 8 | Views: 411
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Re: First butterfly of 2024

by Paul K » Thu Apr 11, 2024 1:37 am

Today April 10 another warm day and I saw Vanessa atalanta, this species can not overwinter here in south Ontario and it migrates from south usually at the end of spring. I have never seen them here so early, it could be a good year for migrating species as the warmer than normal weather maybe allow them to fly longer distance to the north.
Topic: Global travel collecting | Author: Chuck | Replies: 32 | Views: 652
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Re: Agrias butterflies

by Jshuey » Thu Apr 11, 2024 1:35 am

As a follow-up, It's not all that expensive to get to the tropics from the US. If you split the costs with someone, I bet you can do a week for about $1,200 to Central America with good advance planning. I just did a 11 day vacation in Panama for 2 people, for around $3k (including airfare for 2) - and that was eating well (lots of seafood), staying in nice places my wife found acceptable, doing tourist things, renting a car, etc. A nice place in the canal zone, completely surrounded by rain forest (and a golf course ) was $50/night, breakfast included. Trails though the forest, and permission to collect. And if I had been on my own and able to collect dawn to dusk, lots of logging roads a few m iles away that would have been outstanding. Bug me, and me and I can point you towards a permit. (It was super dry and collecting was marginal - but that's a reflection of our narrow travel window).

Belize is easy as well - and English speaking! Again - AirBnbs in the bush would be the way to go. If you are just collecting, all you need is a kitchen, bathroom, beds and electricity - right? Hot shower - hit and miss! Eat local and you may spend 15 bucks a day (rice and beans, stew chicken, and beans and rice!). The odds of hitting Agrias are low, but you never know (two species, and I can point you to spots for both). It's all about planning ahead, getting your permit lined up ($100US), and then just getting there!

Puerto Rico - can be equally cheap. We are pondering a trip to the south coast beaches right now.

You just have to take the first step and do it! It will give you memories that last a lifetime!

John
Topic: First butterfly of 2024 | Author: Paul K | Replies: 8 | Views: 411
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Re: First butterfly of 2024

by livingplanet3 » Wed Apr 10, 2024 11:55 pm

Over the past few weeks, apart from various nymphalids and pierids, I've also been seeing P. polyxenes, P. glaucus, P. cresphontes, and B. philenor in North TX. We've been having a somewhat wetter spring here than usual, and rather mild weather with no significant, sudden changes in temperature.