Recent posts
Topic: Tiger Swallowtails of NY: Finger Lakes, Part II | Author: Chuck | Replies: 154 | Views: 585691
AVATAR
Chuck
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 1021
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 2:30 pm

Re: Tiger Swallowtails of NY: Finger Lakes, Part II

by Chuck » Tue Jul 16, 2024 12:10 pm

12-14july2024: 85F, sunny. Went to Lake Ontario shoreline, not looking for Tigers, but did see one.
Observed 1.

15july2024: A day I won't forget.
Observed 1.

Finally! After 40 years of saying "next year" I attended my first LepSoc meeting at Cornell. I met many of the big names in the business. In the afternoon it was slow, so I went out looking for Tigers. 93F/34C, sunny.

Actually, I was looking for a skipper for one of our members; last year I went there a week earlier, but didn't see the skippers because the milkweed hadn't bloomed; now 1 year and 1 week later, the milkweed was past bloom. No skippers. No nectaring Tigers either; not much of anything really.

Around 4pm I joined the group at a state park for BBQ. Chatted, grabbed a beer, and got my plate full of fabulous BBQ. That's when I got the call from my frantic wife.

"My car is destroyed!" Huh? 3" hail took out the windshield and dented it.

"The basement is flooded!" Uh oh. Must have had very heavy rain.

I hemmed and hawed about driving the 2 hours home.

"The garage is flooded." IMPOSSIBLE. It's 18" above the road. On the very top of a hill comprised of sand.

"There's a woman walking on our street up to her knees in water!" IMPOSSIBLE. That's when I figured I'd better go.

I said goodbye to our host Jason, who introduced me to Chris Schmidt, the one guy I'd die to spend hours talking to! But I had to run.

Got off the highway and it looked like a hurricane hit. Trees shredded, roads covered with green leaves; trees down. I took a photo of rotation in the clouds- and that's two hours after the initial hit. Our plants and flowers are crushed by the hail. 3" hail took out the basement window covers, allowing the heavy rain to flood in. Locally, there's a photo of a tornado, and the next town over was wrecked- an entire row of 150 YO maples down, telephone poles snapped in half. I can't imagine how my primary study field looks, but I'm not going to make it today.
Topic: Technology and the relentless updates | Author: kevinkk | Replies: 3 | Views: 32
User avatar
kevinkk
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 5:06 pm

Re: Technology and the relentless updates

by kevinkk » Mon Jul 15, 2024 11:52 pm

I see. Thank you livingplanet3, I think I discovered one of my problems, when it comes to technology at least.
Nearly all your post went woosh over my head. I do like the "classic" tech though, there's nothing wrong with Quake2.
Topic: Indomalyan Saturniidae distribution maps? | Author: lamprima2 | Replies: 4 | Views: 63
User avatar
Trehopr1
Global Moderators
Global Moderators
Posts: 1033
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2022 1:48 am

Re: Indomalyan Saturniidae distribution maps?

by Trehopr1 » Mon Jul 15, 2024 8:47 pm

Indeed livingplanet3, that is the book I was referencing ! 👍☺️
Topic: Indomalyan Saturniidae distribution maps? | Author: lamprima2 | Replies: 4 | Views: 63
User avatar
livingplanet3
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 626
Joined: Tue May 24, 2022 4:55 pm

Re: Indomalyan Saturniidae distribution maps?

by livingplanet3 » Mon Jul 15, 2024 8:17 pm

Trehopr1 wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2024 5:45 pm There is a book written by Richard Peigler which came out in the early '90s (?) It is titled Attacus...
This one? -

https://bioquipbugs.com/product/attacus ... oundation/
Topic: Technology and the relentless updates | Author: kevinkk | Replies: 3 | Views: 32
User avatar
livingplanet3
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 626
Joined: Tue May 24, 2022 4:55 pm

Re: Technology and the relentless updates

by livingplanet3 » Mon Jul 15, 2024 8:11 pm

If you want to keep using an older OS, and the programs that run on such, there's always virtualization. I've been using the same applications for around 25 years now; I have a virtual Win XP machine, running on a Win 10 physical machine. Of course, XP can't run most modern apps, but I have the virtual machine for working with the (now vintage) programs that I still continue to use to this day, simply because those are the ones that I "grew up" with, and with which I am most familiar. I never have to deal with them being updated and changing, because support for them ended ages ago.

And, if you just want to get away from Windows entirely, there's Linux. ;)
Topic: Technology and the relentless updates | Author: kevinkk | Replies: 3 | Views: 32
User avatar
kevinkk
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 5:06 pm

Technology and the relentless updates

by kevinkk » Mon Jul 15, 2024 6:31 pm

While a number of things are on my mind, most recently, this morning for instance, I have been thwarted yet again trying to upload photos
to the laptop from a SD memory card, yes, you read that correctly.
I think that Windows 11 is subverting my endeavors by constantly moving or simply deleting files, and changing the way apps work, like the
"photos" app, which used to work fine, and it has company.
Does anyone else think their patience is being tested by Windows 11? I did not have problem one with my old laptop, and windows 8.1,
every time I see an update on this machine, or my phone, it's cringe worthy.
Topic: Indomalyan Saturniidae distribution maps? | Author: lamprima2 | Replies: 4 | Views: 63
User avatar
Trehopr1
Global Moderators
Global Moderators
Posts: 1033
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2022 1:48 am

Re: Indomalyan Saturniidae distribution maps?

by Trehopr1 » Mon Jul 15, 2024 5:45 pm

There is a book written by Richard Peigler which came out in the early '90s (?) It is titled Attacus.

I thought the book was quite good (although I don't own a copy) and in it he revised the entire genus Attacus as well as Archeoattacus and also included Coscinocera as well.

I don't know if the book is still in print or if you could find it online through one of the book vendors however, I'm certain it must have some distribution maps or details of where certain species may be found.

As Vernon Brou (one of our members) pointed out that the trouble with websites of any kind is that they come and go in the blink of an eye or they are poorly maintained.

Whenever I see something fascinating either here on insect net or on the web in general I always screenshot the item and log it on my iPad in very organized folders in case I ever wish to search up the information again.

Just a helpful suggestion in case something worthwhile does appear on the web at any time.

Perhaps if someone has the Attacus book they could p.m. you with relevant pictures of any distribution maps that are shown.
Topic: Indomalyan Saturniidae distribution maps? | Author: lamprima2 | Replies: 4 | Views: 63
User avatar
lamprima2
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 8:16 pm

Indomalyan Saturniidae distribution maps?

by lamprima2 » Mon Jul 15, 2024 4:40 am

Does anyone know a website that shows the areals of
different subspecies (now - species) of the Attacus atlas and
Attacus (now Archaeoattacus) edwardsii? I am sure
I saw that site but cannot find it anymore.
Topic: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 1775
User avatar
bobw
Global Moderators
Global Moderators
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2022 2:53 pm

Re: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old

by bobw » Sat Jul 13, 2024 8:16 am

alandmor wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 4:30 pm
laurie2 wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:53 pm An inspiring read - https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/fly-fly/.
Sounds like a great collection and donation but the NHM, London, has its work cut out for it to put actual data labels on all 20,000 specimens!

"Each of McArthur’s butterflies is accompanied by a tiny printed QR code, and scanning it provides a link to a database that he and a data specialist named Dominique Hawinkels developed, which contains the butterfly’s name as well as the date and location of capture."
I don't know about the rest of the collection, but McArthur's Morphos, which I curated a few years back, all had normal data labels. After species, I arranged them geographically, so they must have done. I would assume the rest of the collection is the same, with the QR codes added as additional labels.

At the Natural History museum, they have embarked on an ambitious project to digitise, database and place online the whole collection of several million Lepidoptera. For this, they are also adding a QR code label to each specimen. I'm not sure how much has been done so far, but I believe that at least the British butterflies and birdwings have been done, and they are currently working on the Castniidae, which I recently finished recurating.
Topic: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 1775
User avatar
Jshuey
Global Moderators
Global Moderators
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2022 2:27 pm

Re: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old

by Jshuey » Fri Jul 12, 2024 6:34 pm

alandmor wrote: Fri Jul 12, 2024 3:43 pm I'm just curious how they were able to get an official appraisal for the IRS for income tax purposes?
Just to be clear - I am not looking for business appraising collections. But I have done a few for dear friends over the years for no charge. I am not interested in doing the leg work required to prepare a defensible appraisal for strangers - nor are they likely to be willing to pay what I think my time is worth. Here are the basic components of a defensible appraisal.

But first, there are methods out there like the protocol found at https://bugguide.net/node/view/907141. Two things - First the values assigned by such approaches are arbitrary and can not be defended if the IRS chooses to challenge the appraisal. And two, in every approach like this I've ever seen, the arbitrary values are low - like by 2-300% or more.

Rule 1 - the appraisal needs to be performed by a third party with no financial interest involved in the value. That's really easy for me - since I only do it for free! But I can't appraise my own collection.

Shuey Rule 2 - The market value of a specimen needs to determined using current market values for specimens in similar condition. I do not cherry pick values - I determine an average value per specimen at the family or sub-family level - and apply it to the collection. I do this by:
  • grabbing all the values for the appropriate geography from sites like Thone, InsectCollector and BioQuip Bugs and simply create an average
  • I make sure the collection in question is mostly A1 material (if you haven't seen it, how can you appraise it?)
  • Do the math and add it up by families
Shuey Rule 3 - Any adjustments and assumptions I make negatively impact the appraised value. For example, I don't cherry pick any rare bugs in the collection - the average value applies to everything. I have never added value for specimen preparation but note that if I were to do so, it would likely double the value of the collection. And I provide a screen shot of a site that charges $15-20 per bug to spread butterflies. Likewise, no value added for "expert" determinations - because who knows how to assign a current market value to that?

Shuey Rule 4 - i depreciate the value of all equipment and supplies being donated. So first, I document the cost of new cabinets, drawers, unit trays and so on. And then, based on my assessment of condition, depreciate accordingly. If the stuff looks new, I knock off at least 30%. If there is any wear and tear - 50-60% depreciation.

Shuey Rule 5 - everything is documented and appended to the appraisal. With time stamps on anything used to estimate current market value.
  • Every listing of every bug used to calculate that average value is organized by family and appended - this typically runs over 50 pages
  • I include photographs of example drawers to document condition. Usually 2-3 pages with 4 drawer photos each for this. Lots of text to explain what I want people to see in these photographs
  • Example photos of cabinets and drawers - to document equipment condition. lots of text
  • Screen shots of vendors used to establish equipment values are also included
  • last but not least, over view photos of the entire collection room - just to document that this is serious stuff
Finally, it is worth noting that there are actually two entities that have to be convinced that the appraisal is accurate. Everyone knows the IRS - but the reality is that they probably are not going to really look at it. But also the museum or university that accepts the donation has to agree that it is "acceptable". They can get in trouble if they help people over-value their charitable deductions, so they will generally take a harder look at appraisals than you may suspect.

Here is the abstract from the collection I appraised last year. The entire appraisal ran 59 pages with all those attachments.

John

A conservative estimate of the value of your butterfly collection is $346,900. As documented below, this estimate is based on; market value of the types and quantities of species represented in the pinned collection and a depreciated value of the equipment that houses the collection. Although acknowledged, no additional value was assessed for the “value added” for specimen preparation although, based on services found on the internet, this could increase the estimated value by upwards of 80%.

The collection consists of 18,845 spread and identified specimens. Market value of prepared specimens was determined using current market prices for categories of unprepared butterflies and moths. I used the average price as determined in June 2023 from all the known retailers (three) of diverse, high quality specimens with accurate collection data from the US and Canada. I calculated average prices for each by Family and applied that value to the number of estimated specimens for each category. I made no upward adjustment in value for the preparation of the specimens. The prepared collection is valued at $329,295, representing the majority of the value in the collection.

I determined current retail prices for the equipment used to house the collection. I depreciated these values by 30% to account for wear from use and age. The depreciated value of this equipment is $17,605.
Topic: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 1775
AVATAR
Chuck
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 1021
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 2:30 pm

Re: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old

by Chuck » Fri Jul 12, 2024 5:46 pm

alandmor wrote: Fri Jul 12, 2024 3:43 pm
I'm just curious how they were able to get an official appraisal for the IRS for income tax purposes?
I've done two collections. I'd expect that the retailers would as well, for a charge of course. At one time Connie Hurd was offering that as a service.

In general, it's minimum $5 per pinned and labeled specimen. It's really not that hard- look at a drawer and what do you think it's worth? You'll come pretty close without putting 15,000 specimens in Excel.

Americans should keep in mind that ANY donation below ~$30,000 may have no tax impact. Trump increased the standard deduction quite high to simplify taxes, and that has been retained. So one $10,000 deduction will probably net you nothing. Another thing to keep in mind, it's best to donate when your income is the highest; if you donate $100,000 of bugs when you live off $40,000 of retirement income all you can do is deduct taxes down to zero; any excess is thrown away.
Topic: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 1775
User avatar
alandmor
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue May 24, 2022 4:38 pm

Re: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old

by alandmor » Fri Jul 12, 2024 3:43 pm

"Indeed - I recently helped a friend move a magnificent collection of catocala and US butterflies to a university. It was time, and he was afraid of everything Chuck mentions. The upside here in the US, is that he and his lovely wife were really surprised about the tax benefits they will get for the next few years. I think REALLY surprised!"
John

John,

I'm just curious how they were able to get an official appraisal for the IRS for income tax purposes?
Topic: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 1775
User avatar
Jshuey
Global Moderators
Global Moderators
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2022 2:27 pm

Re: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old

by Jshuey » Fri Jul 12, 2024 2:59 pm

Chuck wrote: Fri Jul 12, 2024 1:47 pm
Trehopr1 wrote: Fri Jul 12, 2024 2:17 am You may live to be a 100 with good sensibility.
As humans eclipse 80 YO the number that can maintain their collection is markedly decreased. That's when collections languish and are destroyed. I have no intention of allowing my collection to get to that point.

For me though the driver is that we're downsizing. We're also moving to an area with hurricanes, which are a risk to collections. That means a smaller desk, 75% fewer cabinets, and 80% reduction in the library.
Indeed - I recently helped a friend move a magnificent collection of catocala and US butterflies to a university. It was time, and he was afraid of everything Chuck mentions. The upside here in the US, is that he and his lovely wife were really surprised about the tax benefits they will get for the next few years. I think REALLY surprised!

John
Topic: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 1775
AVATAR
Chuck
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 1021
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 2:30 pm

Re: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old

by Chuck » Fri Jul 12, 2024 1:47 pm

Trehopr1 wrote: Fri Jul 12, 2024 2:17 am You may live to be a 100 with good sensibility.
Field work and good sensibility aren't fully compatible. Fortunately I still have no problem hiking, climbing, or being in the hot sun. Presumably, there will come a day when I cannot or don't want to.

As humans eclipse 80 YO the number that can maintain their collection is markedly decreased. That's when collections languish and are destroyed. I have no intention of allowing my collection to get to that point.

For me though the driver is that we're downsizing. We're also moving to an area with hurricanes, which are a risk to collections. That means a smaller desk, 75% fewer cabinets, and 80% reduction in the library.
Topic: Tiger Swallowtails of NY: Finger Lakes, Part II | Author: Chuck | Replies: 154 | Views: 585691
AVATAR
Chuck
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 1021
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 2:30 pm

Re: Tiger Swallowtails of NY: Finger Lakes, Part II

by Chuck » Fri Jul 12, 2024 1:37 pm

11july24: Pennsylvania: 75F/24C, 99% cloud, occasional rain.
8 observed, 1 captured (F on thistle)

I was challenged concerning the range of MST in NE USA. BOLD has COI for specimens in Canada, and a few from Catskill Mountains in NY, and mine from Finger Lakes, but that's it.

So I drove to NE Pennsylvania, Pocono Mountains area. 100% cloud cover most of the day; rain showers in the area.

It wasn't until almost 2pm that I saw a Tiger. Milkweed is past bloom, and thistle just starting. My only capture was a female on a single flower of thistle; the rest were just flying around.

This female looks very MST to me:

Image
Topic: How Genetic studies reveal new relationships, species | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 14993
User avatar
Jshuey
Global Moderators
Global Moderators
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2022 2:27 pm

Re: How Genetic studies reveal new relationships, species

by Jshuey » Fri Jul 12, 2024 11:45 am

It could also imply that you got a crappy COI read on that specimen. Check and see how many positions are in the sequence.

john
Topic: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 1775
User avatar
Trehopr1
Global Moderators
Global Moderators
Posts: 1033
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2022 1:48 am

Re: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old

by Trehopr1 » Fri Jul 12, 2024 4:11 am

I would add that I am now 63 years of age and as far as I'm concerned I've got some 30 years to figure out what I want to do with my goods. I will enjoy them for as long as I can manage them and hopefully my passion for the science will be endearing and will be passed along to either an institution or an individual of like-mindedness..
Topic: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 1775
User avatar
Trehopr1
Global Moderators
Global Moderators
Posts: 1033
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2022 1:48 am

Re: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old

by Trehopr1 » Fri Jul 12, 2024 2:17 am

Well despite the doom and gloom of this thread I have to say enjoy your treasures for as long as you can. You may live to be a 100 with good sensibility.

We never know what challenges befall us but, as long as you can say you will have had a full life and have enjoyed all that brings you pleasure than truly you have lived a good life !
Topic: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old | Author: Chuck | Replies: 31 | Views: 1775
AVATAR
Annarobertson1947
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu May 04, 2023 12:31 am

Re: Moving/ downsizing, donating collection, books, getting old

by Annarobertson1947 » Fri Jul 12, 2024 1:09 am

Am so pleased this topic turned up.
At 77 yrs old this Nov I'm in same situation, no family members see butterflies as little more than baubles that need to fit this years wall paint color scheme.
So am downsizing dramatically.
I have Ornithoptera of course unsaleable in Australia, best offer I've had is $67 Usd each drawer regardless of what specimens are in it.
My dilemma is really a simple one i cant seem to make a decision on.
With my Morpho's, I'm keeping females only, but with my Agrias i really am at a crossroads.
I need to really compact things a lot ,so do i keep pairs OR do i keep females only ?????
Whats the view of our Agrias members here, any thoughts appreciated immensely 😊
Topic: What's up with US Saturniidae? | Author: lamprima2 | Replies: 17 | Views: 2702
User avatar
kevinkk
Premium Member - 2024
Premium Member - 2024
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon May 23, 2022 5:06 pm

Re: What's up with US Saturniidae?

by kevinkk » Thu Jul 11, 2024 2:01 pm

Great analogy video. Like I've mentioned before, there's a Simpson episode for everything. It's a great clip.
I wonder if that fly made it over the mountains, I recall seeing the gray egg masses everywhere back in the 70's,
tent caterpillars as well, not very common now. Seems like I bought wild collected Papilio pupa from the east that had very similar
looking flies emerge rather than the butterflies.
Amazed a few years back when I first saw dispar being offered at Actias, the larva are colorful-