Jean-Claude Petit

I started the inventory of the butterflies of Sangay National Park in 2006.

Since that time we make all our data available on this site as soon as we get them, even though incomplete, particularly re. identification.

So they are everybody’s data,

And so we need your help, of you who are familiar with the butterflies from Ecuador and from the Andes, because:
- our data are incomplete, there are butterflies that we could not identify, and obviously there will be mistakes in our work, so your comments will prove very helpful,
- and maybe you know of interesting butterflies that have been collected in the Park area? and these data would be priceless.


and what about Taxonomy ?

Taxonomy serves two purposes :
-       a noble, scientific one, getting to the truth of Nature, which is, permit us to say, some Quest of the Grail
-       and another one, more down to earth, organizing things in order to retrieve them easily ;
but these two objectives are not compatible :
the Quest is endlessly repeated with the advent of new research tools, and, being a Quest, brushes off  practical details.
the organising is about practical details and continuity.
Our challenge is to have a stable structure (data base) with updated data.

When we started these websites we had to make two decisions, one regarding the structure of the database, the other one concerning the taxonomy itself :
-       the structure of the database - we limited our database to five levels, from Family down to species, and we did not consider either
        " Genuses Groups « , in use for Papilionidae, or « subGenuses » pretty much in use for Morphos, Callicores, Anaeas et al, in Paul
        Smart 1975 ; but today "Genuses Groups" are making a come back under the « subTribe » name.
-       the taxonomy itself - we decided not to use the mega Nymphalidae Family which merged eight old Families because :
                . this mega Family is not convenient for this type of work, with subFamilies going from four species up to several thousands,
                  and Tribes so heavy that you must either turn back to alphabetical order, or create subTribes,
                . the old Families are consistent with existing butterflies encyclopedia from Seitz to d’Abrera, not forgetting Smart and Lewis

 We shall not go back on these decisions, but we continuously update our data as new publications are released.

And for those of you who use these pages to identify specimens, we’ve added a new thumbnail  function that should prove very helpful ; you can have an overview of all species within a category (going from « Family » down to « Genus »), and you can select :

- males and/or females, as well as

- UP and/or UN

We’re waiting for your feedback

I am particularly grateful for guiding me through difficult groups, and identifying many specimens, to:
- Maurizio Bollino, for Papilionidae and Pieridae, and more particularly Catasticta and Leodonta that he is presently revising,
- Pierre Boyer, one of the very best experts on Andean butterflies and an outstanding fieldworker,
- Ernst Brockmann for Hesperiidae, and more precisely Pyrrhopygini, Eudaminae and Dalla,
- Robert Busby and Christophe Faynel for Lycaenidae another incredibly complex family,
- Bernard Hermier who spent hundreds of hours helping us on Hesperridae, an extremely difficult group for which there is very little documentation,
- Tomasz Pyrcz, from Warsaw Jagìellonskiego University, for Pronophilini, a challenging group particularly important in Sangay NP, and for which he is the leading expert in the world
- Fabio Vitale, for Heliconiidae and, more important, Ithomiidae, another baffling group,
- et Keith R Willmott, who is about to publish a book on the Butterflies of Ecuador, and who is so kind as to share with us his amazing knowledge of the butterflies from this country.

more recenlly Andree Salk made his expertise in Riodinidae available to us ; we highly value it as it is a Family for which we were rather helpless.

and our heartfelt thanks to Andrew Neild and to David Geale for allowing us to use their fantastic photo collections on our sites.

Jean-Claude Petit


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