Papilio machaon aliaska

Jaakko Kullberg jaakko.kullberg at
Thu Mar 7 03:02:57 EST 2002

Hi again,

"Kenelm Philip" <fnkwp at> wrote in message
news:Pine.OSF.4.33.0203061122220.6998-100000 at
> It is news to me that _P. machaon_ migrates yearly to Alaska across the
> Bering Strait. It's also news that there was anyone around to notice it
> if it happened! The western end of the Seward Peninsula is not heavily
> populated (or often visited ny entomologists).

Well, now I must point that my first comment was not transparent enough to
be detected as a partial joke (SEE BELOW). I don't know any case of
migration of Papilio machaon over the strait.
I wonder how anybody can think that such very mobile insect as P. machaon
would be happily different species in the palearctic and nearctic sides. P.
machaon is atleast on our side of Beringia a total bullshit species
hilltopping in numbers in every mountain top and you can be sure that P.
machaon migrates yearly to Alaska - so you can add back in the list. Of
course there can be more species included somewhere, but the mentioned egg
story in the unrefereed (?) series (published by Eitschberger) is not the
best way to do the thing. P. alexanor and hospiton are good old species,
saharae I don't know - atleast the latter is very similar to machaon.

With "holy anger",

BTW: Of course there is 100% Papilio machaon from Alaska in our collection -
now it is again reported from N.A. :-)
But, I still think that they really do it and I also think that the
populations of machaon in Beringia are more related to each other than e.g.
to Finnish ones. Is "aliaska" a species of it's own or is it even a
subspecies - I really doubt, but I am sure that the study of egg surface is
not the way it should be divided. It would be just perfect if somebody would
make a revision of all the possible species and subspecies of machaon.
Splitting single populations here and there is not the best way.

Sorry about my "Finglish" humour... ;-)

Jaakko Kullberg

> According to Tuzov, _P. m. aliaska_ is the ssp. found in Chukotka. I have
> a few specimens of _machaon_ from Chukotka, and a few more from more
> western parts of the Magadanskaya Oblast'--but not enough to draw any
> conclusions from in comparison to Alaskan material.
> Ken Philip
> fnkwp at
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