November 2015

(updated on 16th November 2015)

other issues of our Newsletter:

August 2008 - March 2009 - November 2009 - October 2010 - December 2011 - May 2013 - December 2013 - April 2014 - December 2014

The Papua Insects Foundation



The latest news of the Papua Insects Foundation, the website and other relevant items concerning the entomology study in New Guinea

With this newsletter we want to inform you about the latest developments, news and changes in the website and activities of the Papua Insects Foundation and other interesting entomological news of New Guinea. If you have any questions or comments on this, please contact us.

Henk van Mastrigt (1946 - 2015)





Henk van Mastrigt, a great Lepidoptera collector and inspiror of many Papua biology students, butterfly lovers and scientists has passed away on 5th August 2015 in Jayapura hospital, Papua, Indonesia. Henricus Jacobus Gerardus (Henk) van Mastrigt (born 15th January 1946, Heerlen, The Netherlands) came to Irian Jaya in 1974 as a missionary-economist for the Franciscan Katholic Church. From the beginning he started to collect butterflies but from 1985 it became serious and his collection grew to one of the most important in the world concerning Papuan Lepidoptera. Henk participated in the famous Foja Expedition of 2005 which was one of his greatest experiences ever. He was astonished by the wild animals which could be approached so closely without being scared, they had never seen humans before and showed no fear. In this expedition he discovered 4 new Delias species for science in just 10 days, but in his life time in Papua he discovered and collected so many other species which were important or new to science, butterflies and moths. Henk's work will always live on in his publications, his teaching to Papua students and in the mind of many lepidopterists all over the world he had as guests with all his hospitality.

The important Lepidoptera collection (KSP, Koleksi Serangga Papua) has been moved from Jayapura APO to the Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) in Waena (see picture right), where it is in good hands. The new collection room is airconditioned and has facilities like work benches, microscopes, computers, etc. Anyone interested to visit this collection for scientific purpose should contact Miss Evie Warikar to get access to the collection.




Severe delay of new issues of SUGAPA magazine!


Members and subscribers of the entomological magazine SUGAPA should take account of a severe delay of the next issues. The sudden death of chief editor Henk van Mastrigt paralysed the whole process of the publication of SUGAPA. The editorial board should first pick up the pieces and restart the whole process of publishing. It is important to maintain the support of the members and subscribers of SUGAPA. We hope to have your understanding for the situation and we hope that SUGAPA will be running again as soon as possible. The last released issue was Volume 9(2) (April-June 2015).












Change of the board of the Papua Insects Foundation

At the meeting of 9th November 2015 of the Papua Insects Foundation (PIF) there was a major shift of board members. From that moment the board of PIF is as follows:

The collection of Henk van Mastrigt

Before Henk van Mastrigt died he was very ill and to be sure that his large and important collection of butterflies and moths of Papua would be safely conservated, he arranged that it should go to the Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) in Waena. There he obtained a nice collection room with airconditioning and enough space for his collection and to work in. Unfortunately he died too soon and could not see the final result of this project. The credits go to the members of KEP and to Evie Warikar in particular who coordinated the move of the collection from Jayapura APO to UNCEN in Waena! The collection of more than 72,000 specimens is now safe at its new place.

A visit to the lowland rainforest of the Kumawa Mountains and more

In October 2015 Rob de Vos visited Papua for meeting the friends of Kelompok Entomologi Papua (KEP) again. The original plan was to go to Fakfak and the Arfak Mountains too but the conditions were against it because of heavy smog from more than 700 forest fires! Being stranded in Kaimana after many airports have been closed, the plan was changed to a visit of the nearby lowland forest in the Buruway District near the unexplored Kumawa Mountains.

Visiting the new collection room

Rob de Vos visited the new collection room of KSP and concluded that KEP did a fine job with the move of the collection. The specimens are undamaged and the collection is arranged in a modern systematical order. In the near future all specimens of this collection will be photographed and digitalized for scientific use. A meeting with KEP was held to talk about the future plans and arrangements that should be done for conservation of KSP.

New projects

Rob de Vos of the Papua Insects Foundation discussed some important new projects for the near future with Kelompok Entomologi Papua (KEP). The most important one is the project of digitizing and photographing the KSP collection to make it available for scientists outside Papua and to conserve the data and pictures at a save place. When more information on this project is available we will notify you by this Newsletter.

Another very ambitious project is to organise the Henk van Mastrigt Survey in 2017-2018. This should be a large survey with scientific participants from all over the world. It will be organised by the Papua Insects Foundation (PIF), Kelompok Entomologi Papua (KEP), the Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) and hopefully more institutions like UNIPA, LIPI and Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The plan is to visit a range of interesting and promissing localities for endemic insects in a period of one year. The purpose is to explore as much as possible biodiversity hotspots and to make an inventory of endemic and other important insect species before it is too late. Papua is seriously threatened by destruction of natural areas by logging and fires for cultivation and palm oil plantations. People with a scientific background and a plan of entomological research can give notice of their interest to participate in this survey to Rob de Vos. A brochure in pdf with all important and practical details will soon be released.

Lecture at UNCEN

As a tradition visitors of UNCEN should give a guest lecture about their topics and interest on Papua insects. These lectures are usually very popular and attended by many biology students. Rob de Vos spoke about the more than 20 years of study at insects in Papua by members of the Papua Insects Foundation, which started already in 1993! The English lecture was translated in Bahasa Indonesia by Vina Suhartawan. Zaïde Bil-Chand and Sebastian Seger of Peter Tetteroo Productions were present for the making of a television documentary on the last Dutch Fathers and Brothers of the Catholic Franciscan Community. Henk van Mastrigt will be memorised in this documentary.

Massive forest fires in Indonesia, including in Papua

Because of the El Niño draught it had not rained for three months in Papua. In Indonesia the lowland areas are being cultivated on a large scale for palmoil plantations, even so in Papua. The regular legal and illegal lit fires had the chance to expand unlimited to large areas which caused a lot of smog. The air traffic was seriously affected by this smog and one after the other airport was closed. On the way to Fakfak Rob de Vos, together with Daawia Suhartawan and Erlani Rahareng, were forced to go to Kaimana (150 km more East) and stranded there for 13 days because Kaimana was the last airport that was closed during their stay.

Visit to the lowland of the Kumawa Mountains, Buruway District

A fortunate opportunity of this unfortunate situation was that Rob de Vos, Daawia Suhartawan and Erlani Rahareng had the chance to visit the lowland rainforest of the Buruway District, East of the Kumawa Mountains. With a longboat they sailed on the Fyria River (West of the village Kambala). The forest was astonishing, an undisturbed primary forest. Unfortunately it was very dry because of the El Niño draught. Nevertheless a lot of beautiful animals were seen like many birds, fruit bats (Kalongs), monitor lizards (Varana) and insects of course. The results at light were not really massive, mostly smaller species and in small numbers but absolutely worthwhile because the area was still unexplored. Hopefully there will be a next opportunity with more favorite weather conditions. Great thanks go to Gany Paulus, Osman Paulus and three Papuan guides (Samsudin Korsaid Etana, Salasa Yagana and Sarfin) who made this wonderful trip possible.

Gany Paulus lives in Kaimana and is a naturalist who loves the local fauna. He organises diving excursions in the Triton Bay (with whale sharks) and other nearby areas. Together with his son Osman Paulus he also arranges boat tours and expeditions into the Kumawa Mountains (Buruway district) and Arguni Bay. His main entomological interests are the Birdwing butterflies (Ornithoptera) for which he has started a conservation project by growing Aristolochia plants (the foodplant of Ornithoptera). The condition of Aristolochia plants in the wild is in danger and populations of plants and butterflies were decreasing rapidly. Setting out young Aristolochia plants in the near primary forests seems to work since the Ornithoptera species are increasing in numbers in the last years.

A short impression of the Buruway trip near the Kumawa Mountains


News on the website


All pages with new pictogram buttons

The above depicted pictogram buttons replaced the old blue buttons, which should make surfing and navigating through the website much easier. The pictograms should speak for themselves which function they have and if not, the text in it will do.

Thumbnail pages

As usual new thumbnail galleries have been added to the website and more are yet to come. Renovations and corrections in the website are part of a daily practice to keep the website up to date and are ongoing. Here follows a list of the major novities on the website since last newsletter. Minor changes are numerous and you will understand that we cannot list those.


Of the insects pages the following list shows the new or renewed checklists


We hope that contributors who promissed us a checklist of their insect group will soon send it to us for preparing. If you have additional information or a new family to add to the website please contact the webmaster.

Available thumbnails at this moment are:


Appeal for more information on other insect groups and items for the next newsletter

At the moment we have contact with more than 50 entomologists in the world who more or less contribute to our website or promissed to do so. We would appreciate your cooperation to provide us of information and checklists of your specialism concerning New Guinea in general or Papua Indonesia in particular. If you know of some other specialists who potentially could be interested to contribute to our website, please let him/her know of us or inform us.

If you have interesting news or information to put in the next newsletter you are very welcome to. Please contact the webmaster to deliver and discuss your contribution.

We rely and depend on you!