The Papua Insects Foundation

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The Le Roux Expedition or

Central New Guinea Expedition(1939)

The Royal Dutch Geographical Society (KNAG) has organized three expeditions in New Guinea. The first expedition was the first Southwest New Guinea expedition which took place in 1904-1905 on the Digoel River, the Setakwa River and the Etna Bay. The second expedition was the Leroux expedition or the expedition to the Wissel Lakes (Paniai) and the Nassau Mountains in 1939. The last one was the famous Star Mountains expedition in 1959.

C.C.F.M. Le Roux, conservator of the Museum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden, was involved with the preparations of the second KNAG expedition in 1939. Having been in the interior of New Guinea in 1926 he was the right person to do this. In 1936 the Wissel Lakes (Paniai Lakes) were discovered by pilot Frits Wissel, just before his famous climbing of the Cartensz Mountains together with Colijn and Dozy. The area was ready to explore and to visit for further research. Le Roux was asked to lead the second KNAG expedition.

The base of this expedition was in the Etna Bay from where two Fokker T IV water aircrafts and one spare plane had a airial service to the Paniai Lakes for droppings of food supply, equipment and to make airial pictures. The scientific staff of the expedition wa C.C.F.M. Le Roux (leader, etnologist and topographer), Prof. Dr. H. Boschma (zoologist), Dr. D. Brouwer (antropologist and medical doctor), Dr. R. IJzerman (geologist), Dr. J.P. Eyma (botanist), M.J.M. Hagdorn, Mohamed Saleh and H.J. Hoeka (astronomical coordination and topographic research) and W.M.F. Timmermans (arial photographer).

The expedition started at the end of June in 1939 and ended at 28th November 1939. Most interesting for the collection of insects was the visit of the Araboe River in the eastern part of the area where Araboe Camp (Araboebivak) was settled. The collecting of insects started at the 7th September by Dr. H. Boschma and one of the last dates known is 4th November 1939. The labeling of the insects in the field was somewhat peculiar and bears an "A" (Araboe bivak) and a date (in most cases without year). Collected material of this expedition is stored in RMNH (Leiden) and BMNH (London).


Original source from Royal Tropical Institute (Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen), Amsterdam.


updated on 6th January 2019


C.C.F.M. Le Roux, De Expeditie van het Koninklijk Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap naar het Wisselmerengebied en het Nassau-gebergte op Nederlandsch Nieuw-Guinea in 1939. Tijdschrift van het Koninklijk Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap, Deel LVI, 5 – september 1939 pag. 661 t/m 679; Deel LVI, 6 – november 1939 pag. 766 t/m 792; Deel LVII, 1 – Januari 1940 pag. 38 t/m 55; Deel LVII, 2 – Maart 1940 pag. 175 t/m 232. Leiden, E.J. Brill 1939 en 1940.

Centraal Nieuw-Guinea in: Arnold Wentholt, In kaart gebracht met kapmes en kompas, met het Koninklijk Nederlands Aardrijkskundig Genootschap op expeditie tussen 1873 en 1960. ABP/KNAG, 2003 pag. 95 t/m 103

C.C.F.M. Le Roux, De Bergpapoea’s van Nieuw-Guinea en hun woongebied. Leiden, E.J. Brill 1948.