Who has "all" the Papilionid?

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Chuck
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Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by Chuck »

In reading a LepSoc book review of Makoto Nakane's Papilio book, I was somewhat surprised that there are 603 species of Papilio. This does not include ssp. I don't intend to quibble about the claimed 603, whether it's 599 or 609 is immaterial to me.

But it is, to me, an amazing number. I've seen several institution collections that rather obviously had missing species. BMNH may have all, I don't know.

So it leaves me wondering: does anyone have all 603 species? Adam probably comes "close" and without prying, I wonder how many. How many private collectors have 500 species? 550? 600? Anyone with 603? How many institutions have all 603 species?

How much would it cost to buy all 603 species, starting with nothing? Certainly, collecting them all one's self would cost in the millions of dollars, but I suspect one would run out of time first (and I suspect some are extinct.) How many species could one person collect from the wild, given an unencumbered lifestyle and unlimited money?

Not being a collector I'm not up on all these things, so excuse me for wondering.
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by wollastoni »

A fast answer is : "nobody".
It is nearly impossible for a Museum or a private collector to get all the Papilionidae species.

This said some Museum (BMNH) and wealthy private collectors have huge collection and must have about 550 species... maybe 580. Some species are known by less than 10 specimens (some African Graphium) and the probability to gather all of these rare species in the same collection is nearly impossible. In the USA, I know only one collector who have a nearly complete Papilionidae collection (he is very wealthy and has bought several huge Papilionidae collection to complete his own).

Working on the Delias genus, I can guaranty that nobody has a full Delias collection on Earth. And that's great, otherwise collecting would be boring if too easy.
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by radusho »

Also taxonomy changes quickly...some ssp. are elevated, some species are degraded, some species are split into several taxa...also different author, different oppinion. I think it is just impossible to keep up with all the changes and keep the collection of worldwide Papilionidae updated
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by livingplanet3 »

From a worldwide perspective, what would be considered the "rarest" species of Papilio in collections? Not in the family Papilionidae as a whole, but in the genus Papilio, specifically?
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by Trehopr1 »

I would imagine the yellow-crested spangle (Papilio elephenor) would rank very high on the list. I have only seen one in my life in any collection.
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by wollastoni »

Actually, elephenor is not that rare in old collection when India was still a science-friendly country.

The hardest Papilionidae species are some African Graphium known from very few specimens : Graphium aurivilliusi, Graphium abri (2 specimen known), Graphium levassori....
In South America, Papilio (zagreus) bedoci is crazingly rare too !
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by adamcotton »

Chuck wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:04 pm Adam probably comes "close"
I do have a lot of the species, but still not "close". I don't keep a 'tally' of the number of species in my collection, so I can't tell you how many I have. I suspect there are a few Japanese collectors who have almost all of the species, and as wollastoni said, there is an American collector who comes close.

Also it is worth bearing in mind that many species have a few common subspecies and the rest are rare.

Adam.
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by leps6789 »

here is a graphium from banqui Cameroon aug,2009 maybe weberi?
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by Cabintom »

leps6789 wrote: Sat Jul 09, 2022 4:52 pm here is a graphium from banqui Cameroon aug,2009 maybe weberi?
G. weberi is a synonym G. fulleri boulleti. I don't believe this to be fulleri, which should have HW post-discal spots.
This looks more like one of the ssps. of ucalegonto me (https://virtualcol.africamuseum.be/prov ... jects/7612), but that doesn't fit well with a Cameroonian locality.
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by africaone »

Collectors of big butterflies are fortunate as everybody collect them in all parts of the world. With means Papilionid is one the the most acessible families.
Of course nobody have all. Complete a collection is like an asymptot. easy to get the first 50 %, less easy to obtain 25 % more etc. the last 10 or 5 % become a problem and to have 98/99 % is quite impossible to solve.
Imagine what is the situation for less hunted families .... to have 80 - 85 % is surely the podium.

For Africa (that I know a little), there are nearly complete collection such those of ABRI (where I believe only aurivilliusi is missing) but there are very few papilonid in Africa. I suppose some pivate collection are up 90 % or 95 % of the species. What is missing is probably females of some of them.
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by Jshuey »

africaone wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 2:12 pm Collectors of big butterflies are fortunate as everybody collect them in all parts of the world. With means Papilionid is one the the most acessible families.
Of course nobody have all. Complete a collection is like an asymptote. easy to get the first 50 %, less easy to obtain 25 % more etc. the last 10 or 5 % become a problem and to have 98/99 % is quite impossible to solve.
Imagine what is the situation for less hunted families .... to have 80 - 85 % is surely the podium.

HA!!!! I focus mainly on Neotropical skippers. I have perhaps 13,000 dead bugs, representing between 30-35% of the 4-5,000 species in the region. Perhaps if I live into my 80's I'll cross over the 50% threshold, but I'll never approach the asymptote - which is half the fun of working with a group like this. There are always new surprises - and they are easy to find!

Edit 15/8/22 - I just did a quick inventory of genera using Nick Grishin's classification. It looks like I have >80% of the genera in the western hemisphere. Probably higher, since many of the missing genera are monotypic "little Brown Jobs" and I have four drawers of these guys pinned, but not identified...

John
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by Chuck »

Jshuey wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 3:09 pm
africaone wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 2:12 pm Collectors of big butterflies are fortunate as everybody collect them in all parts of the world. With means Papilionid is one the the most acessible families.
Of course nobody have all. Complete a collection is like an asymptote. easy to get the first 50 %, less easy to obtain 25 % more etc. the last 10 or 5 % become a problem and to have 98/99 % is quite impossible to solve.
Imagine what is the situation for less hunted families .... to have 80 - 85 % is surely the podium.

HA!!!! I focus mainly on Neotropical skippers. I have perhaps 13,000 dead bugs, representing between 30-35% of the 4-5,000 species in the region. Perhaps if I live into my 80's I'll cross over the 50% threshold, but I'll never approach the asymptote - which is half the fun of working with a group like this. There are always new surprises - and they are easy to find!

Edit 15/8/22 - I just did a quick inventory of genera using Nick Grishin's classification. It looks like I have >80% of the genera in the western hemisphere. Probably higher, since many of the missing genera are monotypic "little Brown Jobs" and I have four drawers of these guys pinned, but not identified...

John

Of course John, I wish you the best of luck hitting 50%.

In general, Papilio are more commercially available than Hesperidae. I can buy right now the 50 most common Papilio; I doubt one can, in one day, buy even the 50 most common skippers. Surely there is a market for the "top" Papilio sort-of available (i.e., all but the top 50 rarest) so if one has enough money, one should be able to buy all but the very rarest Papilio species. I wonder, could Bill Gates even get the top 50 rarest skippers?
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by teinopalpus »

I am collecting Papilionidae for more than 30 years now. Do not know exact number of missing species, lets say probably less than 30. I am pretty far from rich person. Did not bought single collection, all was bought piece after piece. As for females situation is of course much worse - surely more than 100 is missing. Realistic expectation is that for rest of my life ( if my financial situation remain as now ) I can hunt maximum 10 species from rest, but more probably one hand will be enough for counting.
Radusho is correct with taxonomy - only during last years we have many new species. Some of them I had before description ( rumiko, ponceana, confucius, paphus, doubledayi, bouyeri ), some got pretty soon ( paracurius, daiyuanae, garwhalica, sarpedon-group ), some still searching ( wenlingae, sichuanica, septentrionalis ) and natewa is clearly out of reach.
Adam is absolutly correct with subspecies, you can have nominate Papilio indra pair for less than 100usd. If you want all subspecies, it will cost you nice new car.
But I am sure we have wealthy Papilionidae collectors. Many of us remember John Kamps which already gave up collection, but he was close. And also in Europe I am sure we have wealthy ones - I am permanently beated in fight for rare specimens by some of them :)
True words - Papilionidae collector has advantage because popularity and availablity. Also region is important, 2/3 of my missing species are from Africa.

.... but Wollastoni hit nail .... thats nice I always can hope for finding something new for collection - on fair, on auction, on ebay .. I like that feel.

Jan
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Re: Who has "all" the Papilionid?

Post by africaone »

Jshuey wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 3:09 pm
africaone wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 2:12 pm Collectors of big butterflies are fortunate as everybody collect them in all parts of the world. With means Papilionid is one the the most acessible families.
Of course nobody have all. Complete a collection is like an asymptote. easy to get the first 50 %, less easy to obtain 25 % more etc. the last 10 or 5 % become a problem and to have 98/99 % is quite impossible to solve.
Imagine what is the situation for less hunted families .... to have 80 - 85 % is surely the podium.

HA!!!! I focus mainly on Neotropical skippers. I have perhaps 13,000 dead bugs, representing between 30-35% of the 4-5,000 species in the region. Perhaps if I live into my 80's I'll cross over the 50% threshold, but I'll never approach the asymptote - which is half the fun of working with a group like this. There are always new surprises - and they are easy to find!

Edit 15/8/22 - I just did a quick inventory of genera using Nick Grishin's classification. It looks like I have >80% of the genera in the western hemisphere. Probably higher, since many of the missing genera are monotypic "little Brown Jobs" and I have four drawers of these guys pinned, but not identified...

John
Sorry for the misandersatnading. I spoke about specilaists of limited groups (as for papilionid here), of course not the generalist.
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