Chris J. Durden
drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Thu Sep 6 02:07:51 EDT 2001
I shall risk a comment on the 'showcase of ecologically induced
Back in July of '66 I had a very interesting visit from Bill Howe at East
Rosebud Lake, Carbon Co., MT (aka Alpine). We talked at length over
specimens of the 14 OTUs of *Speyeria* found in East Rosebud Canyon and the
2 to 5 percent incidence of intermediates that I was finding between most
possible combinations (including genitalic characters where these are
significant). I encouraged him to illustrate as many of the described
subspecies as possible, because of the diversity hidden in this genus, that
had (then) recently been reduced to 13 species in North America by L. P.
Grey in Ehrlich & Ehrlich 1961 (How to Know the Butterflies. Pictured Key
Nature Series). (Yes this was a high powered taxonomic treatment by the
leading expert. New genera were described by other experts in this
publication.) I am glad Bill Howe went ahead and did illustrate a spectrum
of *Speyeria* even though I strongly disagree with some of his identifications.
At 03:45 PM 9/5/2001 -0400, you wrote:
>You're right, of course.
>No comment on the 'showcase of ecologically induced Speyeria variation'?.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Grkovich, Alex [mailto:agrkovich at tmpeng.com]
> > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 12:25 PM
> > To: 'Mark Walker'; Grkovich, Alex; 'Ron Gatrelle'; 'Leps-l'
> > Subject: RE: Species definitions!
> > Oh, I'm not saying the field work is not necessary. Quite the
> > contrary! But
> > if we observe the countless Fritillaries with the intent of
> > merely drawing
> > up a tally of "245 X, 126 Y, 57 Z... etc." without
> > progressing beyond this
> > level of study, then what is the worth of the field work, either to
> > ourselves or to science? The poor fellow who has taken the
> > time and spent
> > the energy to determine that there were "223" instead of
> > "225" Juvenal's
> > Duskywings (and I'm using an example of a posting I saw from
> > this past May-
> > and the poor fellow reported them as "Juvenile's") himself is probably
> > unaware of the treasures that exist on the other side of the door of
> > understanding. That's what I'm talking about. This is why
> > someone taking the
> > time to count the actual number of Cabbages seems worthless
> > to me while the
> > person may be at same time being blind to the observation of
> > the degree of
> > white banding on an astyannax or the degree of hybridization between
> > weidemeyerii and rubrofasciata etc. etc. Or even to the
> > understanding of why
> > some astyannax have bands and others don't. And the worst
> > factor is that
> > some people in leadership capacities permit or even propagate
> > ignorance in
> > others.
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Mark Walker [SMTP:MWalker at gensym.com]
> > > Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 3:15 PM
> > > To: 'agrkovich at tmpeng.com'; 'Ron Gatrelle'; 'Leps-l'
> > > Subject: RE: Species definitions!
> > >
> > > Alex wrote:
> > >
> > > > I guess what bothers me the most is that such very deep
> > > > mysteries have been
> > > > replaced by endless reports of "I saw 23 Orange Sulphurs
> > and 15 Common
> > > > Sulphurs and 223 Juvenals Duskywings and ...." And anyway,
> > > > since when has it
> > > > become so important to actually count Cabbage Butterflies????
> > >
> > > Ahhh, yes, but I guess it IS more important to encourage
> > field work of any
> > > sort - even if the notion of counting does seem a bit less
> > interesting
> > > (not
> > > to mention accurate) than sampling. I, for one, would like
> > to know when
> > > someone sees hordes of Juvenal's Duskywings. In fact, I'm
> > sorry I don't
> > > provide more information on frequency in my field posts -
> > I've mostly
> > > stopped putting comments like 'common' or 'numerous' in
> > them. A lot of
> > > this
> > > information is just as, if not more, important than the
> > fact that the
> > > species was sighted at all (which I guess is Alex's point
> > anyway - we
> > > don't
> > > talk about it like Klots did - at least not much, anymore).
> > For example,
> > > on
> > > my most recent trip (while in Grant, Co. OR), I found lots of
> > > Fritillaries.
> > > One of them was Speyeria hydaspe. All the other species of
> > Speyeria were
> > > fresh. Absolutely none of the S. hydaspe were fresh, and
> > in fact there
> > > were
> > > few with whole wings at all. This would tell me that S.
> > hydaspe flies
> > > quite
> > > a bit earlier than the other Speyeria (along with S. cybele leto), a
> > > simple
> > > enough conclusion - but one of significant interest nonetheless.
> > >
> > > Incidentally, I'm looking over the races of Speyeria
> > according to Howe.
> > > Awesome. I don't care what you call them specifically,
> > there's little
> > > more
> > > fascinating then a drawer showcasing ecologically induced Speyeria
> > > variation.
> > >
> > >
> > > Mark Walker
> > > Oceanside, CA
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