Page images
PDF
EPUB

it is true, are acquainted with the influences of climate, altitude, and other physical conditions, in modifying the forms and external characteristics of plants; but I am not aware that any peculiar influence has been traced to locality, independent of climate. Almost the only case I can find recorded is mentioned in that repertory of natural-history facts, “The Origin of Species,” viz. that herbaceous groups have a tendency to become arboreal in islands. In the animal world, I cannot find that any facts have been pointed out as showing the special influence of locality in giving a peculiar facies to the several disconnected species that inhabit it. What I have to adduce on this matter will therefore, I hope, possess some interest and novelty. On examining the closely allied species, local forms, and varieties distributed over the Indian and Malayan regions, I find that larger or smaller districts, or even single islands, give a special character to the majority of their Papilionidae. For instance: 1. The species of the Indian region (Sumatra, Java, and Borneo) are almost invariably smaller than the allied species inhabiting Celebes and the Moluccas; 2. The species of New Guinea and Australia are also, though in a less degree, smaller than the nearest species or varieties of the Moluccas; 3. In the Moluccas themselves the species of Amboyna are the largest; 4. The species of Celebes equal or even surpass in size those of Amboyna; 5. The species and varieties of Celebes possess a striking character in the form of the anterior wings, different from that of the allied species and varieties of all the surrounding islands; 6. Tailed species in India or the Indian region become tailless as they spread eastward through the archipelago; 7. In Amboyna and Ceram the females of several species are dull-coloured, while in the adjacent islands they are more brilliant.

Local variation of Size.—Having preserved the finest and largest specimens of Butterflies in my own collection, and having always taken for comparison the largest specimens of the same sex, I believe that the tables I now give are sufficiently exact. The differences of expanse of wings are in most cases very great, and are much more conspicuous in the specimens themselves than on paper. It will be seen that no less than fourteen Papilionidae inhabiting Celebes and the Moluccas are from one-third to one-half greater in extent of wing than the allied species representing them in Java, Sumatra, and Borneo. Six species inhabiting Amboyna are larger than the closely allied forms of the northern Moluccas and New Guinea by about one-sixth. These include almost every case in which closely allied species can be compared.

Species of Papilionidae of the Closely allied species of Java and
Moluccas and Celebes (large). the Indian region (small).
Expanse. Expanse.
Inches. Inches.
Ornithoptera Helena O. Pompeus ... ... ... 5-8
Amboyna) ... ... 7:6 | O. Amphrisius ... ... 6-0
Papilio Adamantius
(Celebes) ... ... ... 5'8 - &T = Q \
P. Lorquinianus (Mo- E’. Peranthus 3-8

luccas) ... ... ... 48

[blocks in formation]

equally clear.

Papilio Pammon everywhere on the continent is tailed in both sexes.

In Java, Sumatra, and

Borneo, the closely allied P. Theseus has a very short tail, or tooth only, in the male, while in the females the tail is retained. Further east, in Celebes and the South Moluccas, the hardly separable P. Alphenor has quite lost the tail in the male, while the female retains it, but in a narrower and less spatulate form. A little further, in Gilolo, P. Nicanor has completely lost the tail in both sexes.

Papilio Agamemnon exhibits a somewhat similar series of changes. In India it is always tailed; in the greater part of the archipelago it has a very short tail; while far east, in New Guinea and the adjacent islands, the tail has almost entirely disappeared.

In the Polydorus-group two species, P. Antiphus and P. Diphilus, inhabiting India and the Indian region, are tailed, while the two which take their place in the Moluccas, New Guinea, and Australia, P. Polydorus and P. Leodamas, are destitute of tail, the species furthest east having lost this ornament the most completely.

Western species, Tailed. Allied Eastern species not Tailed. Papilio Pammon (India) ... P. Thesus (Islands) minute tail. P. Agamemnon, var. (India) P. Agamemnon, var. (Islands). P. Antiphus (India, Java) ... P. Polydorus (Moluccas). P. Diphilus (India, Java) ... P. Leodamas (New Guinea).

The most conspicuous instance of local modification of form, however, is exhibited in the island of Celebes, which in this respect, as in some others, stands alone and isolated in the whole archipelago. Almost every species of Papilio inhabiting Celebes has the wings of a peculiar shape, which distinguishes them at a glance from the allied species of every other island. This peculiarity consists, first, in the upper wings being generally more elongate and falcate; and secondly, in the costa or anterior margin being much more curved, and in most instances exhibiting near the base an abrupt bend or elbow, which in some species is very conspicuous. This peculiarity is visible, not only when the Celebesian species are compared with their small-sized allies of Java and Borneo, but also, and in an almost equal degree, when the large forms of Amboyna and the Moluccas are the objects of comparison, showing that this is quite a distinct phenomenon from the difference of size which has just been pointed out. . In the following Table I have arranged the chief Papilios of Celebes in the order in which they exhibit this characteristic form most prominently.

Papilios of Celebes, having the Closely allied Papilios of the sur

wings falcate or with abruptly rounding islands, with less falcate curved costa. wings and slightly curved costa. 1. P. Gigon ... ... ... P. Demolion (Java). 2. P. Pamphylus ... ... P. Jason (Sumatra). 3. P. Milon ... to $ to ... P. Sarpedon (Moluccas, Java). 4. P. Agamemnon, var. ... P. Agamemnon, var. (Borneo). 5. P. Adamantius ... ... P. Peranthus (Java). 6. P. Ascalaphus ... ... P. Deiphontes (Gilolo). 7. P. Sataspes e - «» ... P. Helenus (Java). 8. P. Blumei... ... ... P. Brama (Sumatra). 9. P. Androcles g o o ... P. Antiphates (Borneo). 10. P. Rhesus... to do to ... P. Aristasus (Moluccas). 11. P. Theseus, var. (male) ... P. Thesus (male) (Java). 12. P. Codrus, var. ... ... P. Codrus (Moluccas).

13. P. Encelades ... ... P. Leucothoë (Malacca).

It thus appears that every species of Papilio exhibits this peculiar form in a greater or less degree, except one, P. Polyphontes, allied to P. Diphilus of India

« EelmineJätka »