The Butterflies of Papua New Guinea

The Butterflies of Papua New Guinea : Their Systematics and Biology

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New Guinea, the world's second largest island, lies at the heart of the Australasian center of species diversity. The remarkable richness of species in the region is no more spectacularly evident than in its bewildering and beautiful array of butterflies. Michael Parsons presents, from his fifteen years of studying these butterflies, a comprehensive description of this butterfly fauna which describes and celebrates their evolution and ecology. The butterflies of New Guinea show how a single animal group can diversify to fully exploit the riches of a tropical rainforest environment. More than 958 species have been recorded so far, and each has developed a unique relationship to its environment, foodplants, predators, and competitors. This book presents a valuable reference for both the amateur naturalist with an interest in butterflies and the evolutionary ecologist interested in the processes and results of adaptation. The book provides a background of the geography of New Guinea, the origins and characteristics of its butterfly fauna, and special considerations of New Guinea butterfly ecology and conservation.
The 820 species recorded from Papua New Guinea and a checklist of the 958 species occurring in Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya as a whole are also discussed in detail. This book includes line drawings showing detailed identification points, color photographs of some 3000 specimens, and over 400 color photographs detailing aspects of life history and ecology. "The Butterflies of Papua New Guinea" presents a vital inventory of the present fauna, in addition to projections of the discovery of new species and the fortunes of those already in existence there. Key features include: examines butterflies as key indicators of environments under pressure; contains color photos of more than 3000 specimens; presents the first comprehensive review of the lives of New Guinea butterflies; and includes over 400 color photographs.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 928 pages
  • 224.3 x 308.4 x 50.5mm | 3,617.88g
  • Poyser
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Annotated
  • Annotated edition
  • colour photographs, b&w illustrations, colour illustrations, bibliography, index
  • 0125455550
  • 9780125455558

Table of contents

PREFACE xi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS NOTE ADDED IN PROOF xv PART I 1. SCOPE AND FORMAT OF THE BOOK I Format and Categories of Species Accounts 1 Races 1 Range 1 Adults 2 Early Stages 3 Foodplants 3 Habits 3 Notes 3 Abbreviations 3 Geographical 3 Institutions and Collections 3 Species Descriptions 3 List of Abbreviations 4 2. NEW GUINEA PAST AND PRESENT 7 Plate Tectonics, Gondwanaland and New Guinea's Origins 7 Island Arc Theories 10 Present-day Structure and Topography 13 Climate 14 Vegetation 16 3. WORLD FAUNAL REGIONS AND BUTTERFLY DIVERSITY 19 Faunal Regions 19 New Guinea Butterfly Diversity 21 4. ORIGINS AND COMPOSITION OF THE NEW GUINEA BUTTERFLY FAUNA 25 General Faunistics 25 Climatic and Ecological Effects 27 Migration and Dispersal 29 General Effects of Insularity 31 Local Topographic Effects 33 Continental Drift 34 Genetics and Associated Factors 40 Conclusions 41 5. A HISTORY OF BUTTERFLY COLLECTING IN NEW GUINEA 43 Background: Early Exploration 43 Expeditions and the Start of Comprehensive Collecting 44 Miscellaneous Collectors 64 6. BUTTERFLY CONSERVATION AND COMMERCE IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA 67 Valuable Goods 67 Problems of Habitat Conservation 67 Origins of the New Guinea Butterfly Trade 68 Case Study: the Birdwings 69 Rationales of Conservation Through Commerce 71 The Insect Farming and Trading Agency 72 Butterfly Farms 74 Collecting: An Important Part of the System 75 Conclusions 76 7. ASPECTS OF BUTTERFLY ECOLOGY IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA 79 Local and Regional Abundance 79 Habitat Preference and Home-Range Behaviour 81 Plantations as 'Artificial Habitats' 84 Adult Food and Feeding Behaviour 84 Adult Courtship and Mating 85 Myrmecophily - Lycaenid/Ant Relationships 86 Ectoparasitism 89 Mortality Factors 89 Eggs 89 Larvae 90 Prepupae and Pupae 90 Adults 90 Diapause 90 8. MIMICRY IN NEW GUINEA BUTTERFLIES 93 1. Alcidis agathrysus Uraniid Moth Complex 95 2. Agaristine Noctuid and Arctiid Moth Complex 96 3. Troidine Papilionid Complexes 96 4. Delias Pierid Complex 97 5. Danis/Psychonotis Polyommatine Lycaenid Complex 98 6. Danaine Nymphalid Complex 98 7. Tellervo Ithomiine Nymphalid Complex 100 8. Taenaris Morphine Nymphalid Complex 102 9. Heliconiine Nymphalid Complex 103 9. COLLECTION AND STUDY 105 Field Collecting 105 Preparing the Collection 105 Sexing Butterflies 106 Dissection and Study of Genitalia 106 Studying Wing-Venation 107 10. ADULT STRUCTURE 109 Head 109 Thorax 109 Abdomen 112 Genitalia 113 Male 113 Female 114 11. CLASSIFICATION AND NOMENCLATURE 117 Systematics and Taxonomy 117 Nomenclature 118 The Butterfly Families 119 Distinguishing Moths from Butterflies 122 Problems of Species and Subspecies 122 Problems in Phylogenetic Analyses and the Importance of Early Stage Taxonomic Studies 125 Conclusions 126 PART II 12. SUPERFAMILY HESPERIOIDEA LATREILLE, 1809: FAMILY HESPERIIDAE LATREILLE, 1809 - SKIPPERS 129 SUBFAMILY PYRGINAE BURMEISTER, 1878 131 SUBFAMILY COELIADINAE EVANS, 1937 142 SUBFAMILY TRAPEZITINAE WATERHOUSE 8L LYELL, 1914 152 SUBFAMILY HESPERIINAE LATREILLE, 1809 158 13. SUPERFAMILY PAPILIONOIDEA LATREILLE, 1802: 211 FAMILY PAPILIONIDAE LATREILLE, 1802 - SWALLOWTAILS 211 SUBFAMILY PAPILIONINAE LATREILLE, 1803 214 14. FAMILY PIERIDAE DUPONCHEL, 1835 - WHITES 217 SUBFAMILY COLIADINAE SWAINSON, 1827 274 SUBFAMILY PIERINAE DUPONCHEL, 1835 285 15. FAMILY LYCAENIDAE LEACH, 1815 - BLUES 323 SUBFAMILY RIODININAE GROTE, 1895 327 SUBFAMILY CURETINAE DISTANT, 1884 335 SUBFAMILY LYCAENINAE LEACH, 1815 337 16. FAMILY NYMPHALIDAE SWAINSON, 1827 - NYMPHS 479 SUBFAMILY LIBYTHEINAE DUPONCHEL, 1844 483 SUBFAMILY ITHOMIINAE KIRBY, 1894 485 SUBFAMILY DANAINAE BOISDUVAL, 1833 491 SUBFAMILY MORPHINAE NEWMAN, 1834 522 SUBFAMILY SATYRINAE BOISDUVAL, 1833 542 SUBFAMILY CHARAXINAE DOHERTY, 1886 573 SUBFAMILY APATURINAE BOISDUVAL, 1840 578 SUBFAMILY NYMPHALINAE SWAINSON, 1827 584 SUBFAMILY HELICONIINAE SWAINSON, 1827 616 KEYS TO PNG TAXA Notocrypta (Hesperiidae) 161 Gegenes group (Hesperiidae) 204 Elodina species (Pieridae) 286 Males of Callictita species and their subspecies (Lycaenidae) 457 Tellervo species (Nymphalidae) 486 Indo-Australian Genera of New Guinea Heliconiinae (Nymphalidae) 619 APPENDICES I. Important Geographical Synonyms 637 II. Important Collectors' Label Data 638 III. All Taxonomic Changes of Papua New Guinea Butterflies Presented in this Book 641 IV. Checklist of High Altitude Butterfly Species in New Guinea 646 V. New Guinea Butterfly Genera Also Occurring in the Oriental Subregion 647 VI. New Guinea Butterfly Genera Restricted to the Australian Subregion 649 VII. Butterfly Genera Endemic to the New Guinea Mainland 650 VIII. Restricted Distribution Endemics of New Guinea 651 IX. Checklist of Named Taxa of Atrophaneura polydorus in the New Guinea Region 654 X. Annotated list of New Guinea Butterfly Genera 655 XI. Checklist of New Guinea butterflies 657 BIBLIOGRAPHY 683 GLOSSARY 723
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Review quote

This superb volume provides a comprehensive guide to the butterflies of Papua New Guinea... Parsons has accumulated and summarized an impressive volume of data. This is an important contribution to our understanding of the New Guinea fauna and environment. -- Stephen J. Richards Quarterly Review of Biology Michael Parsons' book is very useful reference work on New Guinea butterflies. But more than that, it is a great source of information for conservation biologists. hael Balke, Natural History Museum, Vienna The world of butterfly books includes many that are large, lavishly illustrated, richer in form than substance. However, this one is excellent. In addition to being an attractive book for butterfly enthusiasts, it will be a valuable resource on butterfly systematics and on the ecology and biodiversity of the Indo-Australian region in general and New Guinea in particular. An invaluable reference work. Choice
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