Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0011609, Sat, 9 Jul 2005 10:45:26 -0700

Nabokov does Well in the First Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera
EDNOTE. Kurt Johnson is co-author of "NABOKOV's BLUES: The Scientific
Odyssey of a Literary Genius", a recent and very readable account of
Nabokov's lepidopterological career.
Nabokov Does Well in the First Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera
by Dr. Kurt Johnson

Dated 2004, but only recently available, the first ever "official" list of
the Lepidoptera of the neotropics (the American tropics) has appeared,
published by the Association for Tropical Lepidoptera (which I serve as a
member of their "International Advisory Board") in cooperation with
Scientific Publishers and funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution,
Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research, Florida State
Collection of Arthropods (where I am a Research Associate), McGuire Center
for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity (Univ. of Florida), Museo Ecuatoriano de
Ciencias Naturales (Quito), Museo Nacional (Costa Rica), Bermuda Dept. of
Agriculture and Fisheries, and Museo de Historia Natural Universidad
Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Lima).

The official title is "Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera; Checklist: Part 4A,
Hesperioidea - Papilionoidea" [439 pp, ISBN 0-945417-28-4 (v. 5A [sic]; $35
US plus $3 mailing from JBHATL@aol.com [Series editor Dr. J. B. Heppner]).
The general editor of Part 4A is Dr. Gerardo Lamas [see Nabokov's Blues,
Johnson and Coates, Zoland 1999/ McGraw-Hill 2000]) and seven additional
contributing editors.

For the butterflies, a total of 7,784 species are catalogued from a list of
some 35,000 available names. In the subfamily Polyommatinae (the "blues")
of the family Lycaenidae, section author G. Lamas recognizes all the recent
work on Nabokov's blues "as is" in the many publications by me, Dr. Zsolt
Balint, Dubi Benyamini, and others.

This means that all of Nabokov's genera for the neotropics that did not have
technical problems (like Parachilades Nabokov which was an inadvertant
synonym) are recognized at the generic level, including Cyclargus Nabokov,
Pseudochrysops Nabokov, Echinargus Nabokov, Paralycaeides Nabokov, and
Pseudolucia Nabokov. Although the full generic status of Nabokov's
neotropical names has been widely followed (in journal articles and regional
books) since the work of Balint and me in the 1990's, this is the first
officially sanctioned "synonymic list" for the entire neotropical region
that has appeared since that time and thus is the first such list to so
incorporate all of his names with full generic validity. Previously, at
least two of his generic names (Cyclargus and Echinargus) had been widely
considered synonyms of other older names and two others from southern South
America (Paralycaeides and Pseudolucia) had not been either poorly known or
not widely used. As is well known, the work by Balint, me, and others
argued for the full validity of all his names, based primarily on Nabokov's
historic anatomical work.

In addition, the following "Nabokovian" generic names (names either
patronymic of Nabokov or involving various groups closely related to
"Nabokov's blues") are also recognized-- Nabokovia Hemming, Madeleinea
Balint, Eldoradina Balletto and Elkalyce Balint and Johnson. The only
change in a species level name of Nabokov is that his species erembis is
recognized as an island subspecies of ammon Lucas, typical of the modern
inter-island biogeographic species concept. At the species level, 58
species are recognized which originate from the surge of new work on
neotropical blues initiated by Balint, me and others (as recounted in
Nabokov's Blues and elsewhere). A DNA study of Nabokov's blues has been in
progress for several years with the cooperation of me, Balint, Benyamini and
the Dept. of Zoology at Harvard University (Dr. Naomi Pierce, project
coordinator); preliminary analyses are completed on the well represented
genera of Nabokov; still needed prior to publication is more information on
two of the high Andean groups for which material adequate for DNA work is
extremely difficult to obtain.

[Note: Balint should be spelled with an "accent acute" on the "a" but I do
not have this feature on this email].