Jon Shepard (pers. comm.) has advised
that there is about a 100 year history of resident butterfly enthusiasts
in the west Kootenay area. Yet, prior to my arrival here, there
appear to have been only a few observations of butterflies in the
Pend-d’Oreille valley. The results of this brief butterfly survey
demonstrate clearly that even areas that are thought to be well
known in terms of animal diversity are really not that well known.
We have a lot to learn and it is important to note that keen observers
of all ages and occupations can make significant contributions to
our knowledge of biodiversity - specialized degrees from institutions
of higher learning are not necessary to make such contributions
and knowledge is not the exclusive domain of scientists.
Several butterflies that occur in
the Pend-d’Oreille valley have the distinction of being "home
grown" butterflies because they were originally described as
taxonomic entities from type localities within the Columbia basin.
Type localities have special significance from a taxonomic perspective
because these are the places where researchers need to go to get
study material of "the real McCoy" for purposes of making
decisions about relationships with populations in other areas.
Three subspecies of butterflies
were originally described from Kaslo: Erynnis pacuvius lilius
(Dyar 1904), Celastrina echo nigrescens (Fletcher 1903),
and Speyeria hydaspe sakuntala (Skinner 1911). The species
Callophrys rosneri was described from 2 miles south of Kaslo
with paratypes from Balfour (Johnson 1976). Pontia sisymbrii
flavitincta and Speyeria zerene garretti were described
from Cranbrook and Speyeria aphrodite whitehousei was described
from Jaffray (Comstock 1924, Gunder 1932). Pieris marginalis
reichelli was described from Revelstoke (Eitschberger 1983).
Lycaeides idas ferniensis was described from (yes, you guessed
it) Fernie (Chermock 1944). Bowman (1942) included a specimen of
Colias eurytheme from Boswell in his description of Colias
eurytheme alberta. Two additional butterflies were described
from nearby American areas of the Columbia basin: Euphydryas
chalcedona wallacensis (Gunder 1929) from Wallace, Idaho;
and Lycaeides idas atrapraetextus (Field 1939) from
Priest River, Idaho. The Columbia basin is very much "on the
map" from the perspective of butterflies!
The local people who provided the
specimens on which these descriptions were based now have their
names enshrined in the scientific literature. Historical names that
I have noticed in a quick and no doubt incomplete review of the
literature include the following (I also mention some contemporary
people who are involved with butterfly study):
J.R. Cockle - specimen data
reported in the literature suggests that Cockle collected
butterflies in the Kaslo area during the late 1800’s and early
1900’s. Cockle specimens were used in the naming of Celastrina
echo nigrescens and Speyeria hydaspe sakuntala.
Cockle specimens were also used in Erynnis research
by Burns (1964). Cockle wrote several papers on butterflies:
Cockle (1910), (1912), (1915), (1920).
G.H. Findley provided a specimen
of S. hydaspe sakuntala collected at Ainsworth.
C.B. Garrett - butterflies
collected by Garrett, many in the Cranbrook area, were used
to name Pontia sisymbrii flavitincta, Lycaeides
idas ferniensis and Speyeria zerene garretti (which
of course was named in his honour). Garrett specimens were
also used in Hesperia research by MacNeill (1964) and
Erynnis research by Burns (1964). Numerous Garrett
specimens reside in the Canadian National Collection in Ottawa
and also in the American Museum of Natural History.
A.C. Whitehouse - Speyeria
aphrodite whitehousei was named after him. He is reported
to have been stationed with the BC Forest Service in the Jaffray
area in the 1920’s.
H.R. Foxlee - Foxlee collected
butterflies in the west Kootenay area and some of his specimens
were used in Hesperia research by MacNeill (1964).
Neal and Pat Speer collected
the holotype and some paratypes of Callophrys rosneri.
D. Threatful - Dave collected
the holotype and some paratypes of Pieris marginalis
reichelli. Although he now resides in Vernon, he grew
up in Revelstoke. Dave has been very helpful to butterfly
researchers by providing study material and sharing his intimate
knowledge of butterflies in southern BC.
J. Reichel - John lived in
Revelstoke prior to his passing. He also provided paratype
material to Eitschberger, who named Pieris marginalis reichelli
J. Shepard - Jon has resided
near Nelson for about 30 years. He has a number of butterfly
publications to his credit and has been actively researching
BC butterflies for many years. In cooperation with Cris Guppy
of Quesnel; he is in the final stages of completing a much
anticipated book on the butterflies of BC.
C. Schmidt - Chris Schmidt
collected butterflies near his parents home at Riondel and
published his findings (Schmidt 1996).
N. Kondla - A resident of
Genelle, Norbert has been an active and enthusiastic student
of butterflies in western Canada since 1971. He too has published
a number of butterfly papers and is one of the authors of
the book Alberta Butterflies (Bird et al. 1995).
Lloyd Janz - Lloyd has been
looking at butterflies in the Cranbrook area for some years.
Dean Nicholson - Dean has
recently developed an interest in butterflies. He has already
made some interesting discoveries in the Cranbrook area.