Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000268, Fri, 10 Jun 1994 11:17:30 -0700

Lysandra cormion (fwd)
List Editor's Note: The following posting is from Dieter Zimmer whose LES
PAPILLONS DE NABOKOV was described on NABOKV-L on Dec. 24, 1993. Ordering
information may be found there or by contacting me.

QUERY. I would very much like to hear from any NABOKV-L subscriber who is
especially knowledgeable about butterflies.
D. BArton Johnson, Editor

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: 08 Jun 94 04:18:51 EDT
From: "Dieter E. Zimmer" <100126.2576@CompuServe.COM>
To: "Johnson, Donald Barton" <chtodel@humanitas.ucsb.edu>
Subject: Lysandra cormion

This is a brief and somewhat belated comment on a NABOKV-L note by
Christine Raguet-Bouvart on one of Nabokov's butterflies (May 16, 1994).
In her communication on *Lysandra cormion*, Mme Raguet-Bouvart cites the
work on this butterfly done by Smelhaus, Durjardin and Schurian. Exactly
the same studies are cited in my checklist of Nabokov's Lepidoptera
(Lausanne, 1993). However, Mme Raguet-Bouvart seems to come to the opposite
conclusion when she writes that Schurian "finally proves in 1989 & confirms
in 1991 that VN's conjectures of 1941 were right." I am afraid she has
misunderstood what the expert from the Museum in Paris told her. VN's
conjectures of 1941 proved to be right only in so far as even then he was
afraid his capture from the Alpes Maritimes might not be an undescribed
species after all but just some freakish aberration. His hope, of course,
was that by later research it would one day be confirmed as a new species
the name of which would then be *Lysandra cormion Nabokov*. Alas, this is
not what happened. Schurian, by breeding experiments, finally proved what
had been suspected all along: the butterfly in question does not belong to
a species of its own but is a natural hybrid of *Meleageria daphnis
Schiffermueller* and *Lysandra coridon Poda*. Hence, there is no *cormion*.
Bad luck, as often happens in entomology. --Dieter E.Zimmer, Hamburg