Papilio pelodurus vesper Le Cerf, 1924

Takano, Hitoshi, László, Gyula M. & Collins, Steve C., 2021, Notes on some Tanzanian butterfly specimens in the Suffert Collection: a case of patria falsa, Zootaxa 4964 (3), pp. 585-597 : 589-590

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Papilio pelodurus vesper Le Cerf, 1924


Papilio pelodurus vesper Le Cerf, 1924

Two female specimens from ‘Lindi’ were included as paratypes by Le Cerf in the description of the taxon vesper. One of these is deposited in the NHMUK with the following labels: ‘// Para- / type [white disc with yellow border] // pel. ♀ / Lindi [handwritten in Suffert’s hand; label with black border and trimmed at base] // Joicey / Bequest. / Brit . Mus. / 1934–120. //’. This specimen is clearly from Suffert’s collection but lacking the ‘ex coll.’ label. The holotype is also a specimen from Suffert’s collection purportedly from ‘German East Africa’ as stated in the original descrip- tion with the following labels: ‘// Type / H.T [white disc with red border] // pel. [handwritten in Suffert’s hand; label with black border and trimmed at base] // 21 [handwritten] // Ex. Coll. / Suffert. / 1912. // P. pelodurus / s.sp. vesper / ♂ Type (H.T.) Le Cerf [handwritten in Le Cerf’s hand] // Joicey / Bequest. / Brit.Mus. / 1934–120. //’. Furthermore, Le Cerf (1924) described a form of subspecies vesper named excedens based on a unique male also from ‘German East Africa’ , the holotype in NHMUK labelled thus: ‘// Type / H.T [white disc with red border] // 930 1 ˵ Pelodurus - ˵ - 350 [handwritten; possibly cut out from a dealer’s list with prices?] // P. pelodurus vesper / f. excedens / Le Cerf.

18 Contrary to Liseki & Vane-Wright (2016), the name aubyni must be attributed to Poulton, 1926. The taxon was originally described as Charaxes etheocles etheolces ♀ –f. aubyni before being raised to specific rank by van Someren & Jackson (1952) thus making the name available from its original description in accordance with Article of the ICZN (with thanks to Gerardo Lamas for bringing this to our attention).

19 The two other localities not traced by Vane-Wright & Liseki (2008) were ‘Kamfontein’, which is most likely the Afrikaner settlement of Kampfontein (S03°11’, E36°40’) in the north-western foothills of Mount Meru (see map in Crowe 1918). The other, Nguelo or Ngwelo (S05°04’, E38°38’) was a 130 ha coffee plantation founded in 1892 by the Deutsch-Ostafrikanischen Gesellschaft in the East Usambara Mountains ( Fitzner 1901; see also Böhler 1901).

20 The holotype of Acraea rohlfsi Suffert, 1904 , was described from a specimen purporting to have originated from Ukerewe in Johann Ertl’s collection. This species is in fact endemic to the Usambara Mountains and it is possible that Suffert’s specimen of P. hornimani labelled as being from Ukewere is also from Usambara.

/ 1924. / Taken as Type by / G.T. Not labelled / by author. [handwritten in Talbot’s hand] // Joicey / Bequest. / Brit. Mus. / 1934–120. //’. There is no indication on either of these two holotype specimens to suggest a Tanzanian origin with the possible exception of the handwritten ‘21’ on the holotype of vesper (this type of handwritten number on Suffert specimens is re-visited later on in this paper). Suffert owned four males and two females of P. pelodurus according to the catalogue of which only the three aforementioned specimens could be traced. Papilio pelodurus is an Eastern Afromontane species with the nominotypical taxon found in southern Malawi, ssp. vesper distributed from northern Malawi to the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania and the recently described ssp. allani Bayliss, Congdon & Collins, 2018 restricted to the mountains of northern Mozambique. The female paratype labelled as being from ‘Lindi’ most likely originates from Usambara.


Natural History Museum, London