Project Frohawk

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Pete Eeles
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Project Frohawk

Postby Pete Eeles » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:48 pm

This post is to make you aware of a new UKB project where Vince and I need your input and feedback. Around the middle of 2016, and after a discussion with Vince, it was decided to break out the various larval instars. And so, rather than there being a single larva section on the species pages, or a single album of larval images for a given species, each instar now has its own section (and album). This is a natural evolution of us having so many quality images of the different larval instars of each species. Although I'd implemented the mechanisms required on UKB shortly after that decision, it's taken quite an effort by Vince and myself to move all of the images into new albums (1 album per larval instar per species) and make sure they're correct, as best we know (and a huge "thanks" to Vince for putting in the incredible amount of effort involved). There are still quite a few images to be sorted, but we didn't want to wait until that was complete before announcing this project, since you may want to contribute in 2017. Also, we have yet to complete the description of each instar (which we will, in time!). Anyway, a good example is the Swallowtail (just click on the "Larva" twisty):

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species. ... es=machaon

In addition, a new page has been added (under Species->Life Cycles->Larval Instars):

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species_ ... nstars.php

You can also see all of the gaps here (although a moderator will need to be told if you fill a gap, before this page updates, since the page is cached):

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species_ ... tage=larva

So the question is - would you find this useful, and what can be improved?

Oh - and why "Project Frohawk"? Aside from Frederick Frohawk being a personal hero, his seminal work, Natural History of British Butterflies, is a 2-volume masterpiece, with exquisite plates, and the culmination of 24 years (from 1890 to 1914) spent rearing all of the British butterfly species and documenting the findings in meticulous detail (publication was delayed due to the outbreak of war in 1914, and later by insufficient subscribers). The work has never been surpassed and "Frohawk", as it is lovingly known, is still actively referred to today, especially by those wanting to understand the development of the immature stages of the British butterflies. However, some of the early instar images are very hard to make out (since they are drawn life-size) and so perhaps we can add some clarity in heading toward Frohawk 2.0 :)

eeles_frohawk.jpg
Big Fred

eeles_frohawk2.jpg

eeles_frohawk3.jpg
Sample Plate


Cheers,

- Pete

peterc
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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby peterc » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:47 am

Excellent idea, Pete.

I am becoming a fan of Frohawk myself having read June Chatfield's book of his life. Now, I have to fork out hundreds of pounds for his Natural History of Butterflies Vols 1 & 2 :)

Roll on March.

ATB

Peter

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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby Padfield » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:41 am

This will be very useful, Pete. More and more people are looking for larvae and identifying non-final instars from the books can be difficult.

I have a (very) few of the missing links, which I'll sort out as soon as I get a moment.

Guy
Guy's Butterflies: http://www.guypadfield.com

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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby MikeOxon » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:01 pm

My congratulations to Vince and yourself (Pete) for carrying out what must have been a major task. It sounds as though you are filling a long-existing gap in the documentation of early stages.

Mike

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Pete Eeles
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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby Pete Eeles » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:33 pm

Time to provide an update on "Project Frohawk". Today saw the culmination of a significant effort to transcribe all of Frohawk's immature stage descriptions (ovum, pupa and each larval instar) of every species, including rarities, into UKB. Take a look at any species page, and you'll see what I mean. This is also my excuse for being rather quiet of late :) You may spot the odd error in the transcriptions - do let me know if you find any.

In time, we'll develop our own (consumable!) descriptions but, for now, we have the most extensive descriptions of immature stages of British butterflies publicly and freely available for the first time. I'd like to think that Frohawk would have approved. The copyright on his Natural History of British Butterflies expired in 2016, which was 70 years after his death, should you be wondering!

With the increased interest in immature stages, I believe that it is paramount that we provide accurate descriptions, and I think this is the perfect start. Onwards and upwards!

My thanks to Vince, Guy and Mark Colvin for providing feedback on an initial "dry run" of the approach we've taken.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby peterc » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:14 am

Fantastic stuff, Pete.

Now I won't have to fork out over £300 for Frohawk's two-volume masterpiece :D

ATB

Peter

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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby Matsukaze » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:28 pm

If the account of the first species I checked out is anything to go by, this is going to be fascinating and with a good deal of practical relevance.

If Frohawk's account of the hibernation habits of the Mazarine Blue is typical of the larvae in the wild, and not an artefact of rearing them in captivity, whoever ends up managing the reintroduction sites is in for a very difficult time. I had always thought they were essentially clover-feeding Small Blues, feeding in the flower heads in summer and disappearing underground for the winter. I had not appreciated that the silly caterpillars overwintered on the seed heads - it was clear they were vulnerable to grazing or mowing at the wrong time of year, like the Small Blue is, but I had no idea they were that vulnerable...

Now to see how to provide the right conditions for Small Copper and Common Blue in my garden.

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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby Pete Eeles » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:18 pm

peterc wrote:Fantastic stuff, Pete.

Now I won't have to fork out over £300 for Frohawk's two-volume masterpiece :D

ATB

Peter


Thanks Peter. I still cherish my Frohawk volumes and the plates are exquisite, so I won't be parting with them any time soon :) Still worth getting hold of a copy, if you can!

Cheers,

- Pete

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Pete Eeles
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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby Pete Eeles » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:21 pm

Matsukaze wrote:If the account of the first species I checked out is anything to go by, this is going to be fascinating and with a good deal of practical relevance.


I hope so :)

Matsukaze wrote:Now to see how to provide the right conditions for Small Copper and Common Blue in my garden.


Exactly! I've learned one heck of a lot by actually reading Frohawk, from cover to cover (and then cover to cover!), in earnest, for the first time. The captive rearing of the Large Blue (which I've not transcribed, since I've limited the transcriptions to the descriptions of the immature stages) is absolutely fascinating.

Cheers,

- Pete

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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby David M » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:19 pm

I have now seen a few of the species descriptions and must offer my thanks for these pages being updated in such a useful and informative way.

Yet another mighty undertaking, Pete. Well done again.

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Tony Moore
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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby Tony Moore » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:42 am

Hear, hear!! :D :D

Tony M.

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Pete Eeles
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Re: Project Frohawk

Postby Pete Eeles » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:35 pm

Thank you David and Tony!

Cheers,

- Pete


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