Butterflies of the Cayman Islands 
by R.R. Askew and P. A. van B. Stafford


Charles B. Taylor of Rae Town, Kingston, Jamaica
was the curator of the Dept. of Zoology, ‘Jamaica Institute of Kingston’ in about 1891. 
He collected on Grand Cayman, March 14 to April 21, 1896.
Novitates Zoologicae 1906 XXVI GC Is. 25 iii

Cuban Bullfinch/ Cayman Bullfinch Melopyrrha nigra taylori Grand Cayman endemic subspecies and
Cayman Swallowtail Butterfly Heraclides andraemon tailori Grand Cayman endemic subspecies
are named after the same person.

Cayman Swallowtail Butterfly  
Heraclides andraemon tailori (Rothschild and Jordan, 1906)  
Grand Cayman endemic subspecies

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands by R.R. Askew and P. A. van B. Stafford, p.110-113

Habitat   Heraclides andraemon is a butterfly that is most frequently seen in the vicinity of light woodland, often in parks and gardens. H. a. tailori can occur wherever citrus trees are grown on Grand Cayman.

History  Found quite commonly on all three Cayman Islands in 1938 (Carpenter & Lewis 1943), the status of H. andraemon does not appear to have changed since. The description of the Grand Cayman subspecies H. a. tailori by Rothschild & Jordan (1906) seems to be the first mention in the literature of a butterfly in the Cayman Islands. The description is based on a male and female collected in ‘Great Cayman Island’ in April 1896 by ‘Mr Taylor’. The collector was Charles B. Taylor and the subspecies is named for him; the spelling change is to latinize his name. Taylor lived in Jamaica and was zoological curator in the Jamaica Institute of Kingston towards the end of the nineteenth century. He collected on Grand Cayman from 14 March until 21 April 1896. 
The Grand Cayman endemic subspecies of the Cuban Bullfinch, Melopyrrha nigra taylori (Hartert, 1896), is also named after him. 

Cayman Swallowtail butterfly - Heraclides andraemon tailori
Grand Cayman endemic, Family: PAPILIONIDAE.
Photo: Jennifer Godfrey Oct. 13, 2003.
Andraemon Swallowtail - Heraclides andraemon andraemon flies on the 
Sister Islands - Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.


Cuban Bullfinch/ Cayman Bullfinch Melopyrrha nigra taylori (Hartert 1896) Grand Cayman endemic subspecies Birds of the Cayman Islands by Patricia Bradley and Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet 1995, p.250  Hartert, E. 1896. Description of a new finch from the West Indies  Novitates Zoologicae 3(3): 257

Cuban Bullfinch, local name - Black Sparrrow - Melopyrrha nigra taylori,
endemic subspecies, breeds on Grand Cayman.
A photgraphic Guide to BIRDS of the Cayman Islands 

by Patricia E. Bradley and Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet, p.245.
Cayman Islands BIRDS DEFINITIVE SERIES - $4 stamp, Release Date Oct. 9, 2006.

The Tring Trio

Walter Rothschild (1868 – 1937) was born in London, the eldest son and heir of Lord [Nathan] Rothschild, an immensely wealthy financier, of the international Rothschild financial dynasty. Although Walter himself traveled and collected in Europe and North Africa for many years, his work and health concerns limited his range, and beginning while at Cambridge he employed others - explorers, professional collectors, and residents - to collect for him in remote and little-known parts of the world. He also hired taxidermists, a librarian, and, most importantly, professional scientists to work with him to curate and write up the resulting collections: Ernst Hartert, for birds, from 1892 until his retirement at the age of 70 in 1930; and Karl Jordan for entomology, from 1893 until Rothschild's death in 1937.

Ernst Hartert, (1859 – 1933), a German ornithologist, was ornithological curator of Walter Rothschild’s private natural history museum at Tring, Hertfordshire, England from 1892 -1929. He published the quarterly museum journal Novitates Zoologicae (1894 – 1939).

Karl Jordan (1861 – 1959), was a German entomologist. He began work at Walter Rothschild’s museum in 1893.

Philip Lutley Sclater, editor of Ibis, the journal of the British Ornithologists’ Union, was a confirmed opponent for the developing fashion for trinomialism.

Rothschild, Jordan & Hartert, the Tring Trio, were convinced proponents of trinomialism.

They started their own journal, Novitates Zoologicae, the first edition January, 1894.

Tetrio Sphinx Moth – Pseudosphinx tetrio

Tetrio Sphinx / Giant Gray Sphinx or Hawk moth  – Pseudosphinx tetrio Linnaeus, 1771

This large moth was first documented on Grand Cayman and Little Cayman in 1938 during the Oxford University Biological Expedition to the Cayman Islands, and Little Cayman again 1975 by R. R. Askew, during the Royal Society–Cayman Islands Government Expedition. On that expedition Dr. R. R. Askew was the entomologist and Dr. George R. Proctor was the botanist.
On May 8, 2014, I saw about 30 Tetrio Sphinx Moth larvae feeding of the fresh, new, toxic leaves of our Cayman native Jasmine tree (Wild Frangipani) - Plumeria obtusa, Family: APOCYNACEAE. Earlier in the year, we had had an unusually rainy dry season and many plants were effected by Sooty Mold. The unsightly leaves eventually fell, the tree had bare branches for a while, then new leaves grew.
(FLORA of the CAYMAN ISLANDS by George R. Proctor 2012 p.517, Plate 49)

The last time I saw the huge, very distinctive caterpillars, which can grow up to 6 inches (15.2 cm) long, was on May 11. They disappeared to pupate in leaf litter or subterranean chambers. 
Red, black and yellow warning colours to would-be predators, such as birds, 
that the larvae are poisonous.
For more photos, information and links, click on:
Cayman Wildlife page – Butterflies and Moths, scroll down to Tetrio Sphinx moth




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