Great photo's Peter, many thanks, sadly I was working last week end, normally the case when the shows come around but I would have certainly added the pair of Papilio memnon caeruleus from Babi island to the collection, can't see the price on the male but the female for £15 would have been snapped up by me. I already have a pair from Babi island, Adam is it caeruleus from here? The pair I have has a label calling them s.sp babimemnon.
Bob had his usually great selection of neotropical specimens again I see, including the garleppi garleppi male which I pondered over for some time a couple of years ago towards the end of one show, I had very little money left and it was between the garleppi or a huge male Byasa polla, I couldn't afford both.
Ah thanks Danny, I can confirm that your separation of caeruleus and babimemnon as subspecies from Simeulue and Babi respectively is correct. Papilio memnon babimemnon was described by Hachitani in 1993 (Futao, 12: 1-3, pl. 1 figs. 1-8).
For those who don't know where it is, Babi is a very small island SE of Simeulue, and the butterflies of that island tend to be similar to those of Simeulue but not identical. The islands off the west coast of Sumatra are all very interesting indeed.
Thanks Danny, and Adam, I have a pair of both s.sp and can see the differences but I have seen a few from Babi labelled caeruleus and thought maybe babimemnon was a synonym, I definitely would have taken that pair though, anyone know who was selling them and if they sold? i think Danny would have had them also, they would fit that gap under his pair nicely!!
Yes, I wouldn't mind another pair of babimemnon! They seem to have disappeared in the last couple of years. Some were being sold by dealers as caeruleus; my guess is that they assumed they were the same since the islands are near one another, being unaware of the separate ssp status, and the error has been passed on since then.
Maybe if you have a hand lens you can look at the wing scales and see if they are lying flat on the wings as normal or slightly raised. If slightly raised that would suggest that the specimen was killed too soon after emergence from the pupa and then subjected to heat on the right side, which has a slightly arger brown area. Such heat could even include drying it out in strong sun in a paper envelope.
You have a point here. Under a lens (x30) the normal coloured pale area has the scales flat and well placed whereas in the darker (scorched looking) pale areas the scales appear furled longitudinally. Almost a furry appearance. As the wings themselves are very flat, strong and in good condition I suspect that the specimen was not killed too soon. This discolouration is, as you suggest possibly due to strong sun whilst drying out.