museum 'poachers'

Michael Gochfeld gochfeld at
Wed Apr 10 14:57:27 EDT 2002

I was intrigued that Alex suspected that the Ringlet had been in the
Canadian Zone of New England for a long time.  It certainly has invaded
NJ only in the last few years.  In fact it has spread rapidly down the
Hudson Valley (perhaps leapfrogging enroute), so it seems entirely
reasonable that it wasn't around 30 years ago.  It was already
widespread in Orange County (southern NY) by 1994 when the first NJ
specimens were obtained. 

It is now common and widespread in the northwest. It is mainly a
farm-field roadside butterfly here.   MIKE GOCHFELD

"Grkovich, Alex" wrote:
>         Martin Bailey wrote:
> > So I pose this question to you:  Why must you add to your collection
> > specimens that you will never get enough examples of to make meaningful
> > comparative analyses? Where the addition of that specimen to your
> > collection
> > will not advance our knowledge of the species in question.
> >
> > Martin Bailey,
> >
> > greetings from:  Weyburn, SK., Canada.
> >                          49.39N  103.51W
> >
>         [AG]  Excellent question. Why collect either "trash bugs" (to quote
> Norbert, I laughed and howled at this term of his), and what exactly defines
> a "trophy"?
>         First, in the late 80's and early 90's, I collected, for example, a
> good series of "Common" Ringlets (Coenonympha tullia inornata) (correctly
> referred to as Inornate Ringlets)  from central NH and Maine. Some years
> later, I finally got around to spreading most of them. Then I added a number
> of specimens from Mass and a few from VT. As they were essentially, as I
> said, "trash bugs", I could have just as easily just "given" them away or
> just let them sit there endlessly in stamp envelopes.
>         Then the question occurred to me not that long ago: The "Common"
> Ringlet has quite recently expanded its range into southern New England. (It
> is not even mentioned by Klots as occurring at all in New England, although
> I suspect that is oversight- it probably has occurred n the Canadian Zone in
> New England all along) From where did it expand into say, eastern MA? From
> the north or from the west? I have begun to arrange my series of this
> butterfly to at least get a preliminary clue about this, if possible. I
> suspect (without having examined enough specimens to date) that it MAY have
> come from the west, from central New York.
>         What seems interesting is that, while the species has recently
> spread into southern New England, it has apparently not done so in the Upper
> Midwest; for example, while occurring abundantly in the Canadian Zone of
> northern Michigan and Ontario, I have never found it or heard of it from
> southwestern Ontario, southern Michigan etc.
>         By the way, an excellent compilation of photographs of the various
> taxa of C. t. inornata, heinemanii, macissaci   etc.(I trust I've spelled
> the names correctly - I don't have the books here with me) from the
> northeast (Quebec, northern New York, Maritime Provinces etc.) can be fouind
> in Louis Handfield's book, "Le Guide des Papillons du Quebec" (Mark, I
> recommend this book!).
>         Also, my two specimens of Papilio polydamas, from St. Thomas, USVI,
> would probably qualify as a "trophies" to many people. I will probably never
> utilize them in any "research" (but who knows). But my purpose (or
> motivation or interest) is to build as complete a reference (or
> "scientific") collection as possible. And anyway, I chased the first one for
> about 4 hours before I caught it, (once tripping badly, while running, on a
> big rock that was hidden in the deep grass) so perhaps I have earned the
> "trophy".
>         Alex
> >
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