Here is one of my favourites, a extreme Papilio machaon brittannicus aberration. Bred from a wild collected Larvae at Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire on the 12th August 1902 by A.H. Hamm. The imago appeared on the 16th June 1902, almost certainly to the great delight of the collector. O.U.N.H.M.
Here is a very rare aberration, a white female of Argynnis adippe. It was caught by L.B. Evetts on the east slopes of White ** Leaf Hill at Monks Risborough in July 1896. These white aberrations of Fritillaries are usually referable to ab pallida. The verso specimen above, is also an ab, with a enlarged forewing spot. You are not going to obtain anything like this wild caught specimen of a superb white ab , with a needle injection or a freezer
Here is a very rare and beautiful male ab of Polyommatus icarus ( Labierius - Jermyn) showing lavender-purple tint in the Dalean collection. The specimen is without locality data but it was captured by a lucky G. King in 1859.
Here is a very rare specimen. A bilateral gynandromorph of Thymelicus sylvestris. Ex G.B. Coney collection. Hod Hill, Dorset. August 6, 1933. Figured in F.W Frohawk's Varieties of British butterflies (1938). Bristol Museum collection.
You can still buy specimens of extinct British butterflies and occasionally come across rare aberrations. At last years AES event in October, there was a vendor who had several interesting boxes. The best box had numbers of specimens of the extinct British Black-veined White Aporia crataegi, some specimens of the rare British immigrants Issoria lathonia and Pontia daplidice and some rare aberrations of the White Admiral Limenitis camilla. The specimens with the red dots were not for sale, therefore are certainly genuine ( only joking, hopefully these are all British examples).
By far the best specimen in this box was the specimen of the almost black White Admiral Limenitis camilla, ab nigrina that was from the collection of Sidney Webb, who had many fine aberrations in his collection. This specimen of ab nigrina was mentioned ( Pages 117-118) and figured ( Plate 17 fig b )in Charles Barrett's Lepidoptera of the British Islands Volume 1. This specimen is probably referable to the very rare ab nigrina but in this variety the butterfly is usually completely black. Thomas ( 2010) states that both ab nigrina and ab obliterae can be obtained by chilling captive chrysalises in a refrigerator, and that it is possible that they are produced in the wild from Caterpillars that pupate in frost pockets.
Limenitis camilla ab nigrina. Ex Sidney Webb coll.
The vendor's box.
C.G. Barrett. (1893 Lepidoptera of the British Islands, vol 1, fig 1. b L. camilla ab nigrina. Figure 1a is ab obliterae.
The rarest of theBritish Zygaena filipendulae stephensi forms is the melanic ab chrysanthemi Dupont. This is perhaps the finest individual series, and is in the collection of the late Charles Barlett of Bristol, which is now housed in their city museum ( donated 1941). All these specimens were caught wild or were bred. No man made stuff here.
Typical specimens and ab chrysanthemi with the first to be taken in the New Forest. Bottom left ab flava.
Nomad, I noticed in your vendors box that the pricing of historic Aporia crataegi varies between 120-150 pounds? each. Seems reasonable for an extinct British race of butterfly. Is it? I thought a extinct British race would command higher prices like somewhere between 200-300 each. I think that fellow had rather nice looking examples.
Yes, I guess original English specimens of A. crataegi are around that price. There were quite a few caught and the price reflects there was no difference between British specimens and those from other parts of Europe. An original-genuine pair of Lycaena dispar dispar would cost you at least a £1000 pounds or more!!
I know the vendor and his source is exactly the same as mine, I remember finding 2 Issoria lathonia while looking through boxes for other stuff, all the A. crataegi are genuine extinct examples, as for the price, British entomologists are known for their "thrift", as am I, and would baulk at paying prices that are charged at say Juvisy, this case was at Newark too with others, there were fantastic forms of pieris napi which I helped myself to, I think he will be at the AES in a couple of weeks.
An Aberration of Papilio machaon britannicus Seitz, 1907. Edward Bagwell Purefoy. Bred wicken Fen. OUMNH Collections.
A fine box of Papilio machaon britannicus including the aberration shown above. There are specimens here from Whittlesea Mere,Yaxley Fen and Wicken Fen where the Swallowtail is extinct. Also in the drawer are specimens from the Norfolk broads where it still occurs. OUMNH Collections.
"An Aberration of Papilio machaon ssp. britannicus (Seitz, 1907) bred from Wicken Fen"
Very nice specimens and interesting aberration, thank you very much for posting them here. I should point out though that "Seitz, 1907" should not be in ( ). Author and year together is only placed in ( ) if the taxon has been moved from the genus it was originally described in to a different genus. Sometimes the year of a reference is placed in ( ) after the author, but putting both in ( ) has a particular inference which is not the case here.