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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

NOT MY BLACK SWALLOWTAIL

From the latest edition of the Entomological Livestock Group newsletter, a letter from veteran British entomologist Brian Gardiner:



On E-bay in January appeared an offering of "British Swallowtail. P. machaon Britannicus, Black Ab." which had a data Tag "Cambridge 1968, B.O.C. Gardiner. I can categorically state that I never bred or possessed this specimen which from the accompanying photograph appears to be the North American Papilio polyxenus. When I did breed P. machaon, for release onto Wicken Fen in the 1950`s (see The Countryman 1960 vol 57 pp 294-298) all retained reference specimens would have the label `ex Norfolk stock.’ so I suspect the 1968 Cambridge label has been taken from one of my many hundreds of P. brassicae specimens which I widely distributed and would have had a Cambridge label.



The specimen in question was offered by mustavit-2007 with the item number 380196740377 and is still view-able for anyone to take a look on Ebay. The specimen sold for £255 which I think is a lot for what I think is a common American Swallowtail! There have recently been a
number of lepidoptera on Ebay with some dubious attributions, with the data labels, like mine, not being recognised as attributed to the specimen in question, so it is a case of ‘caveat emptor’ if you fancy any of them. Brian O. C. Gardiner.

1 comment:

Syd said...

Wow, some idiot has paid £255 for a dead butterfly. This proves that some folks have more money than sense.
It would have been a lot better to have donated that cash to an organisation that breeds and releases the creatures into the wild, where they belong.