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website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins unless
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are available for sale as high resolution originals. Images or
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prior written consent. For details of reproduction fees, please
Copyright and Fees page.
I regret that
because of the large volume of emails received I am no longer
able to answer every message individually, but please rest
assured that every message is read and appreciated!
A few words about the webmaster - Adrian
Hi, I'm Adrian Hoskins: entomologist, creator of this website,
and natural history tour leader.
My passion for butterflies and nature in general has taken me on
many travels. As a lad I explored most of Britain by motorbike.
Later I spent 5 or 6 years travelling around Europe with a
particular fondness for the beautiful French Alps. I had however
always dreamt about visiting the tropics, so I saved long and
hard and in 1991 I was able to to participate in a 'once in a
lifetime' wildlife safari in Tanzania. The idea was to see and
photograph the 'big game' animals, but I found myself taking
more photos of butterflies than of lions or elephants!
The urge to explore took me the following year to Trinidad where
I found myself awestruck by the rainforest and it's infinite
wonders. I saw my first Morphos, Daggerwings, Glasswings,
Heliconiines and Owl butterflies - species that I had dreamt
about since childhood. I found the whole rainforest experience
overwhelming. The hummingbirds and oropendolas, the haunting
siren wail of cicadas, the high pitched chirping of thousands of
tiny frogs, and best of all my 'discovery' of the incredible
moth Siculodes aurorula will stay
in my mind until the day I die - irreplaceable memories that
make the material things in life pale into insignificance.
THYRIDIDAE, Arima valley,
Trinidad, April 1992
For the last 20 years I've been
very privileged to be able to spend time studying and
photographing the stunning butterflies found in the rainforests
of Costa Rica, Trinidad, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia,
Peru, Kenya, Ghana, India, Sri Lanka, West Malaysia and Borneo.
I organise and lead numerous butterfly-watching tours to many of
these fabulous regions.
My personal 'life list', swollen by
my recent trips to Peru, Ghana and India currently stands at
2607 species. I go to enormous lengths to ensure that every
species I record is accurately identified. This usually
necessitates photographing both wing surfaces of each butterfly,
and meticulously cross-checking each photograph with several
resources. In the case of 'difficult' species I'm lucky to have
a small army of taxonomist colleagues to turn to for assistance.
I should make it clear however that accumulating species lists
however is a trivial aspect of my entomology. What really
excites me is capturing the beauty and character of each species
on camera, discovering as much as possible about their
fascinating behaviour and ecology, and sharing my passion for
butterflies with others.
Despite my great love of the
tropics, there are few things more precious to me than the
pleasure of rambling on the heaths or exploring the ancient
woodlands of the New Forest in Hampshire, strolling across the
chalk grasslands of Dorset, wandering through the beautiful
woodlands of West Sussex, Lancashire and Cumbria, or enjoying
the stunning landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.
are you interested in butterflies ?"
I'm not just
'interested' in butterflies, I love them. I can't find words
adequate enough to describe my passion for these incredibly
beautiful insects so perhaps the best way to answer the question
is for me to quote the legendary explorer and naturalist Alfred
Russell Wallace, who in his book The Malay Archipelago wrote the
my very first walk into the forest at Batchian, I had seen
sitting on a leaf out of reach an immense butterfly of a dark
colour marked with white and yellow spots. I could not capture
it as it flew away high up into the forest, but I at once saw
that it was a female of a new species of
or 'bird-winged butterfly', the pride of the Eastern tropics.
very anxious to get it and to find the male which in this
genus is always of extreme beauty. During the two succeeding
months I only saw it once again, and shortly afterwards I saw
the male flying high in the air at the mining village. I had
begun to despair of ever getting a specimen as it seemed so
rare and wild; until one day about the beginning of January, I
found a beautiful shrub with large white leafy bracts and
yellow flowers, a species of
Mussaenda, and saw one of these
noble insects hovering over it, but it was too quick for me,
and flew away."
The next day I
went again to the same shrub and succeeded in catching a
female, and the day after a fine male. I found it to be as I
had expected, a perfectly new and most magnificent species,
and one of the most gorgeously coloured butterflies in the
world. Fine specimens of the male are more than seven inches
across the wings, which are velvety black and fiery orange,
the latter colour replacing the green of the allied species.
beauty and brilliancy of this insect are indescribable, and
none but a naturalist can understand the intense excitement I
experienced when I at length captured it. On taking it out of
my net and opening the glorious wings, my heart began to beat
violently, the blood rushed to my head, and I felt much more
like fainting than I have done when in apprehension of
immediate death. I had a headache the rest of the day, so
great was the excitement produced by what will appear to most
people a very inadequate cause."
The butterfly discovered and
described by Wallace Ornithoptera
croesus is illustrated below:
did you create this website ?"
Firstly I wanted a receptacle for my photographs and knowledge
- a means of archiving what I've seen and learned, and passing
it on to share with others. Secondly I wanted a tool to
promote the conservation of butterflies, moths and their
habitats - particularly the irreplaceable rainforests of
Amazonia, Africa and south-east Asia. I hope that by
encouraging an interest in butterflies via my photos and
articles, that website visitors will also feel the urge to
protect these incredible habitats which are disappearing so
rapidly from our planet.
Details of ways you can help can be found in the
section. For more
information about my personal aims and philosophy, please see
Code of Practice page, which
covers subjects including collecting, introductions and