Vanessa on the Canary Islands

John R. Grehan jrg13 at
Sun Dec 16 17:37:06 EST 2001

>About Vanessa vulcania (or V. indica vulcania, whatever)... Is it an endemic
>  species of the Canary Islands? I don´t think so, i mean, it´s rather strange
>  as other populations of this species only occur in eastern and southern 
> Asia.
>  It must have come in boats, etc.
>Eduardo Marabuto

I would suggest some caution on this one. One does not have to jump into 
boats to take account of an affinity in Vanessa between the Canaries and 
Asia of this kind. Biogeographic connections between Asia and western 
Europe/Africa are commonplace so no traveling boats need even be considered 
for Vanessa indica any more than suggesting someone picked up some plants 
of Apollonias in India and dropped them of at the Canaries to become 
another species, or that the Canaries plant genus Phyllis was is descended 
from the genus Galopina originally picked up in South Africa. Further, in 
taking account of the biogeography of Vanessa ('red admiral'  alliance) the 
genus has pattern of spatial replacement of most species throughout its 
range which borders the Tethyan geosyncline and associated land between 
North America and the Chatham Islands (New Zealand). The Canaries are an 
integral part of a global biogeographic structure of Mesozoic origin).

John Grehan

John Grehan
Frost Entomological Museum
Pennsylvania State University
Department of Entomology
501 ASI Building
University Park, PA 16802. USA.

Phone: (814) 863-2865
Fax: (814) 865-3048

Frost Museum


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