The World of Birdwing Butterflies

 

TROIDES DOHERTYI

IUCN conservation status category: VULNERABLE.

Troides dohertyi is the 'Talaud Black Birdwing'. It is the darkest of the birdwings, being almost entirely black on its upperside.

T. dohertyi is a threatened species. Its tragedy is that it inhabits the coastal areas of the Talaud and Sangihe islands. The human density is high in these two small islands (more than 300,000 people are packed together in less than 1000 km2 of land). The islands are volcanically still active and most of the human 'development' takes place in the coastal regions where dohertyi flies. It is believed that dohertyi is unable to adapt to new vegetation formations, and the future prospects of this species are therefore far from bright.

A couple of reserves have been established in the island, but these serve first of all like all hunting reserves(!), and is thus to limited help for the existence of dohertyi. But even a hunting reserve may be of some protection to dohertyi, if this will prevent logging or other land development.

It is not known if dohertyi exists on Siau island, a tiny, 20 x 6 km island with an active volcano, a 5,800 m high mountain and nearly 50,000 people pressing for further land development.

Rippon dedicated dohertyi to Mr. W. Doherty, a highly respected collector who sacrificed his own health for the studies of tropical butterflies. Although he perished during a journey to Africa, it was in the eastern tropics that he contracted the Beri Beri.
 

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T. dohertyi

Auctor: Rippon, 1903
Syn.: vordermani Snellen, 1895
Distribution: Kepulauan Talaut, Selibabu Is., Lirung Is., Talaut (Larakelong),
?Kaburuang Is., ?Sangir Is., ?Siau Is.
Etymology: Named in honour of Mr. Doherty.
Notes: Haugum & Low (1985) regarded dohertyi to be a ssp.
of T.rhadamantus.
Described forms:
mf. dohertyi Rippon, 1893
mf. fasciculatus Lathy, 1899
ff. dohertyi Rippon, 1893
ff. fasciculatus Lathy, 1899
  ff. futura Rumbucher & von Kn䧥n, 1999



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