Butterflies and Moths of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire

This book is intended as a popular picture guide to butterflies and moths of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire. It is not designed as a field guide for biologists but is primarily intended to stimulate the interest of young conservationists, amateur naturalists, and the general public. To this end, the text is presented both in English and the native Papiamentu. Papiamentu spelling and usage differs between the three islands. The Papiamentu in this book is based on: Dikshonario Papiamentu – Hulandes, 2nd revised edition, by S. M. Joubert, 1999, and Spèlchèk version 1.0, by Fundashon pa Planifikashon di Idioma, 2001.

The information and photos presented in this picture book are based on studies con- ducted by the authors during the period 1996-2000, two papers of which have already been published in the Caribbean Journal of Science. While this book presents some gen- eral information on butterfly biology, technical information and details have been kept to a minimum and should be sought elsewhere. Useful sources of supplemental informa- tion have been listed under ”Further Reading”. While the focus of this book is on the butterflies, a few striking or colorful moths are also featured. We present here general knowledge, including the current distribution of the species thus far recorded and wel- come additional information.

At present there are no words to distinguish butterflies from moths in the Papiamentu language. Both animals are simply called “barbulètè”. We here follow Simons (1868) and use the terms “barbulètè djanochi” and the term “mòt” to refer specifically to moths. Both are expressions derived from the Dutch language. In the text we use the word “barbulètè” to refer only to butterflies and not moths. For the striking group of moths known as “hawkmoths” in English, we here use the term “barbulètè gabilan”. In Dutch this group is known as the “arrow-tailed butterflies” based on the “horn” or “spine” found on the hind part of the abdomen of the caterpillars of these species.

Local names for butterflies and moths also do not exist in Papiamentu. However, previous studies have shown that assigning relevant common names is essential for butterflies to be recognized and appreciated by the general public. As an aid to the development of an awareness of butterflies in the ABC islands, relevant Papiamentu names have been coined for all species pictured, and are preceded in the text by one or more English common name(s). The Papiamentu names were based on either color or appearance of the butterfly, its (local) host plant or existing English common names. Many English com- mon names were adopted from one of the following sources: Carter (1992), Covell (1984), Gerberg and Arnett (1989), Haxaire (1995), Miller (1992) and Stiling (1986). Species for which no published English common names exist or could be found were given a common name based on the widespread practice of using the species name as a basis for the common name. These species have been indicated by an astrisk. Letters placed between parentheses behing each species’ Papiamentu common name indicate for which of the three islands each species can presently be confirmed by the authors.

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