Welcome to the "mapping the phenotypes" initiative


the idea behind this initiative is to use everybody's help, via internet, to try to clarify the taxonomic situation of difficult neotropical species.


we've been working since 2006 on the inventory of the butterflies of Sangay National Park, and in 2013 we started the same inventory in the Cotacachi Cayapas Reserve, both in Ecuador.

we have found 1900 different taxons in Sangay  www.sangay.eu ,

and 1100 in Cotacachi www.cotacachi.eu/cayapas.


but this extensive fieldwork made us aware of the many discrepancies between "described subspecies" and specimens in Nature.

in Sangay National Park we've discovered that, for at least one third of the species involved, the list of "described subspecies" is at fault because we found:

    - several ssp flying together,

    - series of specimens intermediate between two or more ssp,

    - series of specimens that obviously do not belong to any of the registered ssp.


to try to improve our knowledge we want, as a first but most important step, to gather facts, and only facts,

and launch this "mapping the phenotypes" initiative.


it means we would appreciate your sending us:

    - field notes and reports

    - and particularly pictures of specimens with good collecting data;

but exclusively specimens you collected yourself,

we're not interested in historic specimens, in Museums specimens, and purchased specimens, the data of which are not reliable.


we sincerely hope you'll take to this team venture.




PS - as you can see our starting list of species is very short, but we shall add many more species,

we're waiting for your suggestions as to which species it would be particularly interesting to map?

the only restriction being that, during the first months of this initiative, we'd rather avoid the very difficult cases, notably the most variable species of Heliconius.


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