museum 'poachers' - Ringlet

Chris J. Durden drdn at
Wed Apr 10 22:46:56 EDT 2002

*C. inornata* was in the Ottawa (Ontario) region in the fifties at least as 
early as '53. It was not in the Montreal area in the late fifties and early 
sixties, or in the northern Adirondacks or northern Vermont at that time. 
It was polymorphic in the Ottawa region with dark and light forms and with 
upland meadow and sedge bog ecotypes in late spring and early summer. 
Munroe assured me he had found it in the Gatineau hills as late as August. 
Shortly after this a new race/subspecies/species was described from the 
Thousand Islands. The polymorphism was very noticeable and quite unlike the 
monomorphic populations of Hudsonian muskeg around James Bay, which looked 
almost Skandinavian in facies.
    What change in land-use practices, or what genetic introduction 
prompted this rapid spread of an Hudsonian-Canadian Zone species, southward 
into the Transition Zone. Could this be in response to the effects of "acid 
rain" and its effects on grassland habitat? We never found it in the early 
sixties in Massachusetts, Connecticut or northern New Jersey. A canvassing 
of collections might produce data for the construction of a range-change map.
.................Chris Durden

At 02:57 PM 4/10/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>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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