Rare butterfly (do your research)

Neil Jones Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk
Mon Aug 10 16:19:37 EDT 1998

In article <a43db823.35ce2b69 at aol.com> Pavulaan at aol.com  writes:

> Regarding the advertisement for Leudorfia chinensis in an e-mail post from
> China, Mark Jackson wrote: "So go get him, and shut up!"  
> I could not have said it better myself!  Thanks Mark.  
> Has anyone considered that this entire arguement is MOOT, and everyone is
> wasting their keyboard strokes, because Leuhdorfia chinensis is apparently not
> listed in the CITES appendices?!  Thus, the person offering the butterfly for
> sale, is not breaking any laws, providing he obtains all necessary collecting
> and export permits, and that the purchasing party obtains the required import
> permit.  Just because a butterfly is described as "RARE", does not mean it is
> protected.  Cabbage Whites may be "rare" on Captree Island, N.Y., but that is
> no reason for it to be listed under CITES.

Actually the original concern was that it was a RED DATA BOOK species.
I know because I was the one who raised the issue.
This is not a Cabbage White but a listed rare Swallowtail.
I wonder if this trader in Chinese rarities really wants to obey the
regulations. If he does why is he using a false identity and covering
up his web address like an internet porn merchant?
> Stop beating your keyboard to death.  If you are bothered by the sale of
> "rare" butterflies, there is always your legislator to contact.  But note:
> butterfly collectors have been writing, calling, e-mailing, and speaking with
> their representatives about regulatory overkill in this country, to little
> avail.  
> If you are bothered by people selling butterflies on Leps-L, just ignore the
> messages.  They will do it anyway, and I have no objection.  Free speech
> prevails in this country.  

Before I start I will reiterate my position that I don't want collecting
I am disappointed to hear someone defending suruptitious trade in Red Data Book
species. I believe that this attitude is misguided and is likely
to lead to more regulation. 
To illustrate the point imagine what a hypothetical overzealous regulator
might use as an argument.

" I don't think we can really trust butterfly collectors to behave themselves.
There was a very dodgy looking guy on the internet recently. He was 
selling Red Data Book species without revealling his identity. I think
he might be smuggling Chinese bronzes as well. There were several collectors
actually defending him saying that he wasn't doing anything wrong.
I think we need to keep an eye on these guys with a view to some stronger

What really frustrates me  is that this has an effect on me too.
There are a number of countries now where it is difficult to study
butterflies because the laws make it difficult for you to carry a net
for identification. Unfortunately this is because they do not trust
butterfly collectors, and this is the result of an unscrupulous minority.
Unfortunately if the rest of the community does not condemn bad behaviour
it is easy to apply the blame to everybody.

I stated in my original posting raising concerns about this disreputable
dealer that I did not wish to restart the collecting debate.
If anyone is interested you can look at the FAQ at
(It is a little scrappy still but it will eventually fixed.)
I had hoped that for once we could have reached consensus on this issue
for the common benefit of us all. 
Remember watchers and collectors alike we all should condemn those
who bring the study of lepidoptera into disrepute. 
Neil Jones- Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk http://www.nwjones.demon.co.uk/
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve

More information about the Leps-l mailing list