Last summer (1951)  I  decided  to  visit  Telluride,  San
Miguel  County,  Colorado,  in  order to search for the unknown
female of what I had  described  as  Lycaeides  argyrognomon
sublivens in 1949 (Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. 101:
p.  513)  on  the  strength  of  nine  males  in  the Museum of
Comparative Zoology, Harvard,  which  had  been  taken  in  the
vicinity  of  Telluride half a century ago. L. sublivens
is an isolated southern  representative  (the  only  known  one
south  of northwestern Wyoming, southeast of Idaho, and east of
California) of the species (the  holarctic  argyrognomon
Bergstr.=idas   auct.)   to   which   anna  Edw.,
scudderi Edw., aster Edw., and six other nearctic
subspecies belong. I bungled my family's vacation but got  what
I wanted.
     Owing  to  rains  and  floods,  especially  noticeable  in
Kansas, most of the drive from New York State to  Colorado  was
entomologically  uneventful.  When  reached  at last, Telluride
turned out to be a damp,  unfrequented,  but  very  spectacular
cul-de-sac (which a prodigious rainbow straddied every evening)
at  the  end of two converging roads, one from Placerville, the
other from Dolores, both atrocious. There  is  one  motel,  the
optimistic  and excellent Valley View Court where my wife and I
stayed, at 9,000 feet altitude, from the 3rd  to  the  29th  of
July,  walking  up  daily to at least 12,000 feet along various
more or less steep trails in search of  sublivens.  Once
or  twice  Mr.  Homer Reid of Telluride took us up in his jeep.
Every morning the sky would be of an impeccable blue at 6  a.m.
when  I  set out. The first innocent cloudlet would scud across
at 7:30 a.m. Bigger fellows with  darker  bellies  would  start
tampering  with  the sun around 9 a.m., just as we emerged from
the shadow of the cliffs and trees onto good  hunting  grounds.
Everything  would  be  cold  and  gloomy half an hour later. At
around 10 a.m. there would come the daily  electric  storm,  in
several  installments,  accompanied  by  the  most irritatingly
close  lightning  I  have  ever  encountered  anywhere  in  the
Rockies, not excepting Longs Peak, which is saying a good deal,
and  followed  by  cloudy and rainy weather through the rest of
the day.
     After 10 days of this,  and  despite  diligent  subsequent
exploration,  only  one  sparse  colony of sublivens was
found. On that one spot my wife found a freshly emerged male on
the 15th. Three days later I had the  pleasure  of  discovering
the  unusual-looking  female.  Between the 15th and the 28th, a
dozen hours of windy but passable  collecting  weather  in  all
(not  counting  the hours and hours uselessly spent in mist and
rain) yielded only 54 specimens, of which 16 were females.  Had
I  been  younger  and  weighed  less,  I might have perhaps got
another 50, but hardly much more than that, and, possibly,  the
higher  ridges  I vainly investigated between 12,000 and 14,000
feet     at     the     end      of      July,      in      the
magdalena-snowi-centaureae  zone,  might  have  produced
sublivens later in the season.
     The colony I found was restricted to one very steep  slope
reaching  from  about  10,500  to  a  ridge  at 11,000 feet and
towering over Tomboy Road between "Social Tunnel" and  "Bullion
Mine."  The  slope  was  densely  covered with a fine growth of
lupines in flower (Lupinus  parviflorus  Nuttall,  which
did  not  occur  elsewhere  along the trail) and green gentians
(the tall turrets of which were assiduously patronized  by  the
Broad-Tailed  Hummingbird and the White-Striped Hawkmoth). This
lupine, which in the mountains of Utah is the food-plant of  an
alpine  race  of L. melissa (annetta Edw.), proved to be
also the host of L. sublivens. The larva pupates at  its
base,  and in dull weather a few specimens of both sexes of the
imago could be found settled on the lower leaves and stems, the
livid tone of the butterflies' undersides nicely  matching  the
tint of the plant.
     The  female  of  sublivens is of a curiously arctic
appearance, completely different  from  the  richly  pigmented,
regionally   sympatric,  locoweed-  and  alfalfa-feeding  L.
melissa or from the melissa-Vike females of  Wyoming
and   Idaho  argyrognomon  (idas)  races,  and  somewhat
resembling argyrognomon (idas) forms  from  northwestern
Canada  and  Alaska  (see  for  instance in the above-mentioned
work, p. 501 and plate 8, fig. 112). It also recalls a  certain
combination  of  characters  that  crops  up  in  L. melissa
annetta.

     Here is a brief description of L. sublivens female:
Upper-side of a rather peculiar, smooth, weak  brown,  with  an
olivaceous  cast in the living insect; more or less extensively
dusted with cinder-blue scales; triangulate greyish blue  inner
cretules   generally   present   in   the  hindwing  and  often
accompanied by some bluish or greyish bleaching in  the  radial
cells  of  the  forewing; aurorae reduced: short and dullish in
the hindwing, blurred or absent in  the  forewing,  tending  to
disappear  in  both  wings  and  almost  completely absent in 3
specimens; lunulate  pale  greyish  blue  outer  cretules  very
distinct in both wings; underside similar to that of the male.
     Deposited:   20  males  and  10  females  in  the  Cornell
University collection, and 18 males and 6 females in the Museum
of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.

     Published in The Lepidopterists' News,

     New Haven, Conn., Vol. 6, August 8, 1952, pp. 35-36.



     In connection with "Blues," I wish to correct two or three
slips in Professor Alexander B. Klots' important and delightful
hook (A Field Guide to the  Butterflies  of  North  America,
East of the Great Plains, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1951).
     On  p. 166 there is a misprint: "Center (formerly Karner)"
should be, of course, "Karner (formerly Center)."  Incidentally
I  visit the place every time I happen to drive (as I do yearly
in early June) from lthaca  to  Boston  and  can  report  that,
despite  local  picnickers  and the hideous garbage they leave,
the lupines and Lycaeides samuelis Nab. are still  doing
as  fine  under  those  old gnarled pines along the railroad as
they did ninety years ago.
     On p. 165, another, more unfortunate transposition occurs:
"When fawn colored, more vivid in tone"  should  refer  not  to
Lycaeides  argyrognomon {idas\ but to L. melissa,
while "wings beneath, when fawn colored, duller in tone" should
refer not  to  L.  melissa  but  to  L.  argyrognomon
{Idas]  (see  my  "Nearctic Lycaeides," Bull. Mus. Comp.
Zool., vol. 101: p. 541:1949).
     On pp. 162-164, the genus  Brephidium  (in  company
with two others) is incorrectly placed between Hemiargus
and  Lycaeides.  I have shown in my paper on Neotropical
Plebejinae  (Psyche,  vol.  52:  pp.  1-61;  1945)  that
Hemiargus  {sensu  lato)  and Lycaeides belong to
the  same   group   (subfamily   Plebejinae--   or   supergenus
Plebejus;  the rank does not matter but the relationship
does).  Brepbidium,  of  course,  stands  on  the   very
outskirts  of  the  family,  in  a  highly  specialized  group,
immeasurably   further   removed   from   Hemiargus   or
Lycaeides  than,  say,  Lycaena. This is where my
subfamilies come in handy since  at  least  they  keep  related
things  in  one  bunch and eject intruders. Views may differ in
regard to the hierarchic element in the classification I adopt,
but no one has questioned so far the  fact  of  the  structural
relationship  and  phylogenetic  circumstances  I  mean  it  to
reflect. The whole interest of Hemiargus is that  it  is
allied  to  Lycaeides  etc.,  while  bearing  a striking
superficial resemblance to an African group with which it  does
not  have  the  slightest  structural  affinity. Systematics, I
think, should bring out such points and not keep  them  blurred
in  the haze of tradition. I am perfectly willing to demote the
whole of my "subfamily" Plebejinae to  a  supergenus  or  genus
Plebejus  (Plebejus ceraunus, isola, thomasi, idas, melissa,
aquilo, saepiolus, etc.) but only under the condition  that
it  include  exactly  the  same  species, in the same groupings
("subgenera" or numbered sections, as you will) and in the same
sequence of groups, without  intrusions  from  groups  assigned
structurally  to  other  "subfamilies"  (and  then,  of course,
lygda-mus, battoides, and piasus should be all in
Scolitantides or its equivalent). However, I still think
that the formality of generic nances for  the  groupings  is  a
better method than going by numbers, etc. Names are also easier
to  handle  in  works  on  zoological  distribution  when it is
important to bring out  the  way  a  group  is  represented  in
different regions of the world. Generally speaking, systematics
is not directly concerned with the convenience of collectors in
their  dealings  with  small local faunas. It should attempt to
express structural affinities and divergences, suggest  certain
phylogenetic  lines, relate local developments to global ones--
and help lumpers to sort out properly the ingredients of  their
lumps.

      The  Lepidopterists' News, Vol. 6, August 8, 1952,
p. 41




     A visit to Wyoming  by  car  in  July--  August  1952  was
devoted to collecting in the following places:
     Southeastern   Wyoming:   eastern  Medicine  Bow  National
Forest, in the Snowy Range, up to approximately 10,500 ft. alt.
(using paved road 130 between Laramie and Saratoga);  sagebrush
country,  approximately  7,000  ft.  alt., between Saratoga and
Encampment, east of paved highway 230;  marshes  at  about  the
same elevation between eastern Medicine Bow National Forest and
Northgate,  northern Colorado, within 15 miles from the Wyoming
State Line, mainly south  of  the  unpaved  road  127;  and  W.
Medicine  Bow  National  Forest, in the Sierra Madre, using the
abominable local road from Encampment to the Continental Divide
(approximately 9,500 ft. alt.).
     Western Wyoming: sagebrush, approximately 6,500  ft.  alt.
immediately  east  of Dubois along the (well-named) Wind River;
western  Shoshone  and  Teton   National   Forests,   following
admirable  paved  road  26,  from  Dubois  towards  Moran  over
Togwotee Pass (9,500 ft. alt.); near Moran, on  Buffalo  River,
approximately   7,000   ft.   alt.;   traveling   through   the
construction hell of the city of Jackson, and bearing southeast
along paved 187 to The Rim  (7,900  ft.  alt.);  and,  finally,
spending  most  of  August  in collecting around the altogether
enchanting little town of Afton (on paved 89, along  the  Idaho
border),  approximately  7,000 ft. alt., mainly in canyons east
of the town, and in various spots of Bridger  National  Forest,
Southwestern part, along trails up to 9,000 ft. alt.
     Most  of  the  material  collected has gone to the Cornell
University Museum; the rest to the American Museum  of  Natural
History and the Museum of Comparative Zoology.
     The best hunting grounds proved to be: the Sierra Madre at
about 8,000 ft. alt., where on some forest trails I found among
other  things  a  curious  form (? S. secreta dos Passos
& Grey) of Speyeria egleis Bchr  flying  in  numbers
with    S.    atlantis    hesperis    Edw.   and   S.
hydaspepurpurascensti. Edw., a very  eastern  locality  for
the latter; still better were the forests, meadows, and marshes
about  Togwotee  Pass  in  the  third  week  of July, where the
generally early emergences of the season  were  exemplified  by
great  quantities  of Erebia theona ethda Edw. and E.
callias callias Edw. already on the wing; very  good,  too,
were some of the canyons near Afton.
     Here  are  a  few notes on w^hat interested me most in the
field: Boloria, Colias, certain Blues, and migratory  or
at least "mobile" species.
     Of  Boloria  I  got seven species, of the eight (or
possibly ten) that occur within the region. Plunging  into  the
forest  south  of  route 130 on the western slopes of the Snowy
Range, I found B. selene tollandensis B &  McD.  not
uncommon  on  a  small richly flowered marsh at about 8,000 ft.
alt.; also on marshes north of Northgate and on Togwotee  Pass.
On  July  8,  I  spent  three  hours  collecting  a dozen fresh
specimens of B. eunomia alticola  B  &:  McD.,  both
sexes,  on  a  tiny very wet marsh along the eastern lip of the
last lake before reaching  Snowy  Range  Pass  from  the  west,
possibly  the  same  spot  where  Klots  had  taken  it in 1935
(Journ. N. Y. Ent. Soc. 45: p. 326; 1937).  I  met  with
the  same  form  on  a  marsh  near  Peacock  Lake, Longs Peak,
Colorado, in 1947. Forms of B. Mania Esp.  (mostly  near
ssp.  helena  Edw.) were abundant everywhere above 7,500
ft. alt. By the end of July  B.  freija  Thunb.  was  in
tatters  near  Togwotee  Pass (it had been on the wane in June,
1947, on marshes near  Columbine  Lodge,  Estes  Park;  and  on
He-back  River,  Tetons, in early July, 1949). Of the beautiful
B. frigga sagata B. & Benj. I took two  (fresh but
frayed) near Togwotee Pass. Of B. toddi Holland  ssp.  I
took  a  very fresh  in early July in the Snowy Range at 8,000
ft. alt. and a couple of days later, acting  upon  a  hunch,  I
visited  a  remarkably  repulsive-looking  willow-bog,  full of
cowmerds and barbed wire, off route  127,  and  found  there  a
largish form of B. toddi very abundant-- in fact, I have
never  seen.  it as common anywhere in the west; unfortunately,
the specimens, of which I kept  a  score  or  so,  were  mostly
faded--  and  very  difficult  to  capture, their idea of sport
being to sail to and fro over  the  fairly  tall  sallows  that
encompassed  the  many  small circular areas (inhabited only by
Plebeius saepiolus Boisd. and  Polites  utahensis
Skin.)  into  which the bog \va.s divided by the shrubs.
Another species I had never seen to  be  so  common  was  B.
kriembild  Strecker  which  I  found in all the willow-bogs
near Togwotee Pass.
     In regard to Colias I could  not  discover  what  I
wanted--  which  was  some  geographical intergradation between
C.  scudderi  Reakirt,  which  I   suggest   should   be
classified  as  C.  palaeno  scudderi  (Reakirt) (common
everywhere in the Medicine  Bow  National  Forest),  and  C.
pelidne  skinneri Barnes (locally common near Togwotee Pass
and above Afton). I  was  struck,  however,  by  the  identical
ovipositing  manners  of  C. scudderi and C. skinneri 99
which were common in the  densest  woods  of  their  respective
habitats,  laying on Vac-cinium. I found C. meadi
Edw. very common on Snowy Range Pass. It was  also  present  at
timberline   near   Tog-\votee  Pass  and  east  of  it,  below
timberline, down to 8,000 ft. alt. in willow-bogs, where it was
accompanied   by   another   usually    "Hudsonian"    species,
Lycaenasnowi  Edw., the latter represented by undersized
individuals. (In early July, 1951, near Telluride, Colorado,  I
found  a  colony of healthy Colias meadi and one of very
sluggish  Pargus  cen-taureae  freija  Warren  in  aspen
groves  along  a canyon at only 8,500 ft. alt.) On a slope near
Togw^otee Pass at timberline I had the pleasure of  discovering
a  strain  of  C. meadi with albinic 99. The species was
anything but common there, but of the  dozen  99  or  so
seen or caught, as many as three were albinic. Of these my wife
and  I  took  two, hers a dull white similar to C. hecla
"pallida," mine slightly tinged with peach (the only other time
I saw a white C. meadi was at the base  of  Longs  Peak,
1947, where the species was extremely abundant).
     In  1949 and 1951, when collecting Lycaeides in the
Tetons, all over Jackson Hole, and in the  Yellowstone,  I  had
found  that  to  the  north  and east L. argyrognomon {idas)
longinusNa.b.  turns   into   L.   argyrognomon   (Idas)
scudderi Edw. but I had not solved the problem of the L.
melissa  strain  so  prominent  in  some  colonies of L.
argyrognomon longinus (i.e. Black Tail Butte near Jackson).
I had conjectured that hybridization  occurs  or  had  occurred
with  wandering  low  elevation  L.  melissa (the rather
richly marked "Artemisian" L. melissa-- probably in need
of some name) that follows alfalfa along roads  as  Plebeius
saepiolus  does  clover.  In  result  of  my 1952 quest the
situation appears as follows. The  most  northern  point  where
typical  L.  longinus  occurs  is the vicinity of Moran,
seldom below 7,000 ft. alt. and  up  to  11,000  at  least.  It
spreads south at those altitudes for more than a thousand miles
to  the  southern  tip  of Bridger National Forest but not much
further (I have not found it, for instance, around Kemmerer). I
have managed to find one L.  melissa,  a  fresh  c?,  in
August,  1952, in a dry field near Afton, less than a mile from
the  canyon  into  which  both  sexes  of  L.   longinus
descended  from  the  woods  above.  At  eastern  points of the
Bridger  and  Shoshone  Forests,   L.   longinus   stops
definitely  at  The  Rim, west of Bondurant, and at Brooks Lake
(about 7,500 ft. alt.) some twenty miles west of  Dubois.  Very
small  colonies  (seldom  more than half-a-dozen specimens were
taken in any one place) of L. melissa were found  around
Dubois  at 6,500 ft. alt. or so (agricultural areas and the hot
dry  hills).  A  colony  of  typical  (alpine)  L.   melissa
melissa  as  described  by  Edwards,  was  found just above
timberline  in  the  Sierra  Madre.  The   search   for   L.
melissa  in  various  windy  and  barren  localities in the
sagebrush zone in mid-July led  to  the  finding  of  a  rather
unexpected  Blue.  This  was  Plebeius  (Icarida) sbasta
Edw., common in the parched plain at less than 7,000  ft.  alt.
between  Saratoga  and  Encampment  flying on sandy ground with
Phyciodes   mylitta   barnesi    Skinner,    Satyrium
fuliginosa  Edw., and Neominois ridingsi Edw. It was
also abundant all over the hot hills at 6,500 ft.  alt.  around
Dubois  where  nothing  much else occurred. T have not yet been
able to compare my specimens with certain scries in the  Museum
of  Comparative  Zoology,  Harvard,  but  I  suggest  that this
low-altitude P. shasta is the true  P.  minnehaha
Scudder while the alpine form which I found in enormous numbers
above  timberline  in  Estes Park (especially, on Twin Sisters)
and  which  collectors,  following  Holland's   mislead,   call
"minnehaha," is really an undescribed race.
     As  to  migratory  species  observed  in  Wyoming, 1952, I
distinguish  two  groups:  (1)  latitudinal  migrants--  moving
within  their  zones  of  habitat  mainly in a west-east (North
America)  or  east-west  (Europe)  direction  and  capable   of
surviving a Canadian Zone winter in this or that stage. Mobile,
individually   wondering   species   of   Plebeius   and
Colias  belong  to  this  group  as  well  as  our  four
erratically  swarming  Nympbalis species which hibernate
in the imagi-nal stage. In early August the trails  in  Bridger
National  Forest  were covered at every damp spot with millions
of N. californica Boisd.  in  tippling  groups  of  four
hundred  and more, and countless individuals were drifting in a
steady stream along every canyon. It was interesting to find  a
few-specimens   of  the  beautiful  dark  western  form  of  N.
j'album    Boisd.    &    Lee.    among    the    N.
californica  near  Afton.  (2)  longitudinal  migrants--
moving early in the season from  subtropical  homes  to  summer
breeding  places  in  the  Nearc-tic region but not hibernating
there in any stage.  Vanessa  cardui  L.  is  a  typical
example.  Its  movements in the New-World are considerably less
known than in the Old World (in eastern Europe,  for  instance,
according to my own observations, migratory flights from beyond
the  Black  Sea  hit  the  south  of  the  Crimea in April, and
females, bleached and  tattered,  reach  the  Leningrad  region
early  in  June). In the first week of July, 1952, this species
(offspring mainly)  was  observed  in  colossal  numbers  above
timberline in the Snowy Range over which the first spring flock
had passed on May 28, according to an intelligent ranger. A few
specimens  of  Euptoieta  daudia  Cramer  were in clover
fields around Afton, western Wyoming, in August. Of Leptotes
marina Reakirt, one  was observed near  Afton  in  August,
with    Apodemia   mormo   Felder   and   "Hemiargus"
(Echinargus) isola Reakirt. Both A. mormo and  E.
isola  plant  very  isolated  small  summer colonies on hot
hillsides. The H. isola specimens, which I took also  in
Medicine  Bow  National  Forest,  are all tiny ones, an obvious
result  of  seasonal  environment,  not  subspeciation.   H.
isola  (incidentally,  this is not a Latin adjective, but a
fancy name-- an Italian noun originally-- and cannot be  turned
into  "isolus"  to comply with the gender of the generic
name, as done by some writers) belongs to a  neotropical  group
(my  Echinargus)  with  two  other species: E.
martha Dognin, from the Andes, and a new species, described
by  me  but  not  named,  from  Trinidad  and  Venezuela   (see
Psyche,  52:  3-4). Other representatives of neotropical
groups   (Graphium   marcellus   Cramer,    "Strymon"
melinus     Hubner,     Pyrgus    communis    Grote,
Epar-gyreus clarus Cramer-- to  name  the  most  obvious
ones) have established themselves in the Nearctic more securely
than   H.   isola.  Among  the  migratory  Pierids,  the
following  were  observed:  single  specimens  of   Nathalis
iole  Boisd.  all  over  Wyoming;  one worn  of Pboebis
eubule L. in the Sierra Madre (Battle Lake),  July  9;  one
worn    of Eurema mexicana Boisd., between Cheyenne and
Laramie (and a worn + near Ogallala, Neb.), first week of July.

                 The Lepidopterists' News,

               Vol. 7, July 26, 1953, pp. 49-52.



     AUDUBON'S BUTTERFLIES, MOTHS AND OTHER STUDIES
     Compiled and edited by Alice Ford

     Anyone knowing as little about butterflies as I  do  about
birds  may  find  Audubon's  lepidoptera  as  attractive as his
bright, active, theatrical birds  are  to  me.  Whatever  those
birds  do,  I am with them, heartily sharing, for instance, the
openbilled wonder of "Green Heron" at the  fantastic  situation
and  much  too bright colors of "Luna Moth" in a famous picture
of the "Birds" folio. At present, however, I am concerned  only
with  Audubon's  sketchbook ("a fifteen-page pioneer art
rarity"  belonging  to  Mrs.  Kirby  Chambers  of  New  Castle,
Kentucky)  from  which  Miss  Ford  has  published  drawings of
butterflies and other insects in a handsome volume padded  with
additional  pictorial odds and ends and an account of Audubon's
life. The  sketches  were  made  in  the  1820s.  Most  of  the
lepidoptera  which  they  burlesque  came from Europe (Southern
France, I suggest). Their scientific  names,  supplied  by  Mr.
Austin  H. Clark, are meticulously correct-- except in the case
of one butterfly, p. 20, top, which is  not  a  Hamaeris
but  a  distorted  Zerynthia. Their English equivalents,
however, reveal some sad editorial  blundering:  "Cabbage,"  p.
23,  and  "Miller,"  p. 91, should be "Bath White" and "Witch,"
respectively; and the two moths on p. 64 are  emphatically  not
"Flesh Flies." In an utterly helpless account of the history of
entomological  illustration,  Miss  Ford  calls  Audubon's  era
"scientifi-cally unsophisticated." The unsophistication is  all
her  own.  She  might  have  looked  up John Abbot's prodigious
representations of North American  lepidoptera,  1797,  or  the
splendid  plates  of  eighteenth-  and early-nineteenth-century
German lepidopterists, or the rich butterflies that enliven the
flowers and fruit of the old  Dutch  Masters.  She  might  have
traveled  back  some  thirty-three  centuries  to  the times of
Tuthmosis IV or Amenophis  III  and,  instead  of  the  obvious
scarab,   found   there  frescoes  with  a  marvelous  Egyptian
butterfly (subtly combining the pattern of our Painted Lady and
the body of an African ally of the  Monarch).  I  cannot  speak
with  any  authority  about the beetles and grasshoppers in the
Sketchbook,  but  the  butterflies  are  certainly  inept.  The
exaggerated  crenulation  of  hindwing  edges,  due  to a naive
artist's doing his best to render the dry, rumpled  margins  of
carelessly   spread   specimens,  is  typical  of  the  poorest
entomological figures of earlier centuries and to these figures
Audubon's sketches are curiously close. Query: Can anyone  draw
something  he  knows nothing about? Does there not exist a high
ridge where the mountainside of  "scientific"  knowledge  joins
the  opposite  slope of "artistic" imagination? If so, Audubon,
the butterfly artist, is at sea level on one side and  climbing
the wrong foothill on the other.

           The New York Times Book Review, 

               December 28, 1952.



     Field   Guide   to   the  Butterflies  of  Britain  and
Europe

     In my early boyhood, almost sixty-five years ago, I  would
quiver  with  helpless  rage  when  Hofmann  in his then famous
Die Gross-Schmetterlinge Europas failed  to  figure  the
rarity he described in the text. No such frustration awaits the
young   reader  of  the  marvelous  guide  to  the  Palaearctic
butterflies west of the Russian frontier now produced by-Lionel
C. Higgins, author of important  papers  on  Lep-idoptera,  and
Norman  D.  Riley, keeper of insects at the British Museum. The
exclusion  of  Russia  is   (alas)   a   practical   necessity.
Non-utilitarian  science  does not thrive in that sad and cagey
country; the mild foreign gentleman eager  to  collect  in  the
steppes will soon catch his net in a tangle of barbed wire, and
to  work out the distribution of Evers-mann's Orange Tip or the
Edda Ringlet would have proved much  harder  than  mapping  the
moon.  The little maps that the Field Guide does supply for the
fauna it covers seem seldom to err. I note that  the  range  of
the  Twin-spot  Fritillary  and  that  of  the  Idas  Blue  are
incorrectly marked, and  I  think  Nogell's  Hairstreak,  which
reaches Romania from the east, should have been included. Among
minor  shortcomings  is  the somewhat curt way in which British
butterflies  are  treated  (surely  the  Norfolk  race  of  the
Swallowtail,  which  is  so  different from the Swedish, should
have received more attention). I would say that  alder,  rather
than  spruce, characterizes the habitat of Wolfens-berger's and
Thor's  Fritillaries.  I  regret  that  the  dreadful  nickname
"Admiral"  is  used  instead  of  the  old "Admirable." The new
vernacular names are well invented-- and,  paradoxically,  will
be  more  attractive  to  the expert wishing to avoid taxonomic
controversy when indicating a species than to the youngster who
will lap up the Latin in a  trice.  The  checklist  of  species
would  have  been  considerably  more appealing if the names of
authors  had  not  been  omitted  (a  deplorable  practice   of
commercial  origin  which impairs a number of recent zoological
and botanical manuals in America).
     The choice of important  subspecies  among  the  thousands
described  in  the  last hundred years is a somewhat subjective
matter and cannot be discussed here.  In  deciding  whether  to
regard  a  butterfly  as  a  race  of  its closest ally or as a
separate species the Field Guide displays good  judgment
in  re-attaching  Rebel's  Blue  to  Alcon, and in tying up the
Bryony White with the Green-veined White: anyone who has
walked along a mountain brook in the Valais,  the  Tessin,  and
elsewhere  must  have  noticed  the  profusion and almost comic
muddle of  varicolored  intergrades  between  those  two
Whites.  In  a  few  cases,  however,  the authors seem to have
succumbed to the blandishments of  the  chromosome  count.  For
better or worse our present notion of species in Lepidoptera is
based solely on the checkable structures of dead specimens, and
if  Forster's Furry cannot be distinguished from the Furry Blue
except by  its  chromosome  number,  Forster's  Furry  must  be
scrapped.
     In  many groups the Field Guide accepts the generic
splitting proposed by various specialists. The  resulting  orgy
of  genera  may  bewilder  the innocent reader and irritate the
conservative old lumper.  A  compromise  might  be  reached  by
demoting  the  genitalically  allied  genera  to  the  rank  of
subgenera within one large genus. Thus, for instance,  a  large
generic group, called, say, Scolitantides, would include
6  subgenera  (pp.  262-271  of  the  Field  Guide, from
Green-underside Blue to Chequered Blue)  and  a  large  generic
group, called, say, Plebejus, would include 15 subgenera
(pp.  271-311,  Grass  Jewel  to  Eros  Blue); what matters, of
course, is not naming or numbering  the  groups  but  correctly
assorting  the  species  so  as  to  reflect  relationships and
distinctions, and in  that  sense  the  Field  Guide  is
logical and scientific. On the other hand, I must disagree with
the  misapplication  of  the  term "f." (meaning "form"). It is
properly used to denote recurrent aberrations,  clinal  blends,
or  seasonal  aspects,  but  it  has no taxonomic standing (and
available names for  such  forms  should  be  quote-marked  and
anonymous). This the authors know as well as I do, yet for some
reason  they  use  "f."  here  and  there  as  a  catchall  for
altitudinal races and minor  subspecies.  Particularly  odd  is
"Boloria  graeca  balcanica f. tendensis,"' which
is actually Boloria graeca tendensis Higgins,  a  lovely
and  unexpected subspecies for the sake of which I once visited
Limone Piemonte where I found it  at  about  7000  ft.  in  the
company  of  its two congeners, the Shepherd's and the Mountain
Fritillaries. Incidentally, the  drabbish  figure  hardly  does
justice to the nacreous pallor of its underside.
     These  are all trivial flaws which melt away in the book's
aura of authority and honesty,  conciseness  and  completeness,
but there is one fault which I find serious and which should be
corrected  in  later  printings.  The  explanation facing every
plate should give the exact place and date of capture of  every
painted  or  photographed  specimen--  a principle to which the
latest  butterfly  books  rigidly  adhere.  This  our  Field
Guide omits to do. In result the young reader will not only
be  deprived  of  a  vicarious  thrill but will not know if the
specimen came from anywhere near the type locality, whilst  the
old  lepidopterist  may at once perceive that the portrait does
not represent an individual  of  the  typical  race.  Thus  one
doubts  that  the bright female of the Northern Wall Brown (Pl.
49) comes from the North, and it is  a  pity  that  the  Poplar
Admirable  shown  on  Pl.  15  should  belong  to the brownish,
blurrily banded West European sub-species rather  than  to  the
black Scandinavian type race with pure white markings.
     The  red-stained Corsican Swallowtail (front end-paper) is
surely a printer's freak, not the artist's fancy, and no  doubt
will  be  repaired  in  due  time.  Many  of Brian Har-greaves"
illustrations are excellent, some are a little crude, a few are
poor; all his butterflies,  however,  are  recognizable,  which
after all is the essential purpose. His treatment of wing shape
is  sometimes  wobbly,  for  instance in the case of the Heaths
(Pl. 47), and one notes a displeasing tendency to acuminate the
hind-wing margins of some Ringlets (Plates 37, 41, 44). In some
groups of closely allied butterflies Nature seems to have taken
capricious delight in  varying  from  species  to  species  the
design of the hind-wing underside, thinking up fantastic twists
and  tints, but never sacrificing the basic generic idea to the
cunning disguise. Brian Hargreaves has not always followed this
interplay of thematic variations within the genus. For example,
in the Clossiana hind-wing undersides the compact jagged
rhythm of the Polar Fritillary's  markings,  which  intensifies
and  unifies  the  Freya scheme, is weakly rendered. The artist
has  not  understood  the  affinity  with  Frigga  that   dimly
transpires  through  the design of the Dusky-winged, nor has he
seen the garlands of pattern and the violet tones as connecting
the Arctic Fritillary with Titania, and the  latter  with  Dia.
Otherwise,  many  such  rarely figured butterflies as the Atlas
White, the Fatma Blue, and Chapman's Hairstreak, or such tricky
creatures as the enchanting Blues on Pl. 57 came out remarkably
well. The feat of assembling  all  those  Spanish  and  African
beauties  in  one  book  is not the least glory of Higgins' and
Riley's unique and indispensable manual.

  Times Educational Supplement,

               London, October 23, 1970


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