Papilio joanae

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Tue Jan 30 19:48:50 EST 2001

My knowledge of Heitzman's breeding of joanae with various machaon group
taxa is only through letters and would not be sufficient as scientific
data. We at TILS would welcome the opportunity to distribute Heitzman's
data in a scientific format once someone (or ones) have collected the data
and compiled it in a proper format.
As an aside, my only possible experience with P. joanae was in 1966. My
wife's grandparents lived in the heart of the Ozarks on the bank of the
Jacksfork River - way down a dirt road in the "boonies". At that time, once
I had collected a pair or two of something I didn't take any other
examples. I had taken polyxenes in Iowa, so I had zero interest in
collecting this in Missouri. (The Zebra Swallowtails had my attention.) In
the Ozarks, I encountered some dark "polyxenes" so I caught an kept one
male. Unfortunately, this specimen was later destroyed (beetle food). I'll
never know for sure, but I may well have encountered a colony of joanae.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Felix Sperling" <Felix.Sperling at>
To: <Leps-l at>
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2001 6:56 PM
Subject: Re: Papilio joanae
> With all this good discussion about the rigorous methods and
> excellent observations of Richard Heitzman, it is a real pity that
> these data are not fully published. I know there is some early
> information in the original description of P. joanae, but I keep
> seeing indications of considerable subsequent work. It isn't really
> science unless it has been made open to public scrutiny (=published).
> Nor is it nearly as valuable for informed conservation efforts. One
> of the people who knew Richard Heitzman personally, or even better
> has worked with him on P. joanae, should consider working to get
> these rearing studies published (perhaps in TILS?). It would be a
> really nice legacy for Heitzman and could only help joanae's survival.
> Felix Sperling
> >Hey Felix and Listers,
> >
> > I agree with the approach that both Doug and Felix suggest
> >about subspecies.  I'm not entirely against their use, however, you
> >better have a damn good reason to use a subspecific name.  You
> >who have been on this list for a while know how opinionated I am
> >on this topic.
> >
> > As for P. joannae.  I grew up in the Kansas City area, and John
> >Richard Heitzman was my lep mentor.  He took a very methodical
> >approach in naming P. joannae.  He reared it several times, and
> >discovered larval morphs (just *some* mind you) that were always
> >assignable as P. joannae and never show up in P. polyxenes.  He
> >found different larval *preferences* (different growth
> >rates/survivorship on different foodplants), though he could usually
> >get some of each "species" through on acceptable plants.  He also
> >did crosses and backcrosses from offspring.  Although most F1's
> >were apparently completely fertile, some significant hybrid
> >breakdown occurred in both F2's and backcrosses, and he was
> >never able to get beyond an F3.  So he *didn't* name this species
> >haphazardly.  Habitat choice is also a bit different, though you can
> >find both species feeding at flowers on a roadside in the woods.
> >Having had personal experience with this "species", you can tell
> >virtually all individuals apart solely on appearance, so at least
> >"subspecific status" would seem reasonable -- certainly this falls
> >withing Felix's criteria for subspecies.  Full specific status is
> >certainly not out of the question, as Felix suggests.
> >
> > My two cents.
> >
> > James
> >
> >Dr. James K. Adams
> >Dept. of Natural Science and Math
> >Dalton State College
> >213 N. College Drive
> >Dalton, GA  30720
> >Phone: (706)272-4427; fax: (706)272-2533
> >U of Michigan's President James Angell's
> >   Secret of Success: "Grow antennae, not horns"
> >
> >
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