November 2009


other issues of our Newsletter:

August 2008 - March 2009 - October 2010 - December 2011

The Papua Insects Foundation


The latest news on the Papua Insects Foundation, its 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.

The fourth issue (April - June 2009) and the fifth issue (July - September 2009) of SUGAPA are released


SUGAPA is a continuation of the newsletter "SUGAPA" of the Kelompok Entomologi Papua (KEP) which started in July 2006 and since then published 8 issues on the activities of the members of KEP, a group of enthousiast Papuan biology students and teachers of the Cenderawasih University (UNCEN), with Henk van Mastrigt as guide and teacher. Initially the language in the newsletter was Bahasa Indonesia, which was a problem for most interested scientist. The Papua Insects Foundation therefore presented English translated abstracts on the website.

The magazine SUGAPA focusses on international scientists and deal with subjects on Papuan insects. The text will be mostly in English (about 25 % will be in Bahasa Indonesia). More information or subscription

The editors of SUGAPA appeal for entomologists to contribute in their journal, so if you have manuscripts (almost) ready on Papuan insects and want to publish in SUGAPA, please contact the editorial board of SUGAPA.

We like to emphasize that SUGAPA is a registered journal (ISSN 1978-9807) and independently founded by KEP, but it is obvious that the Papua Insects Foundation fully supports this initiative with what we can.

The grow of subscriptions to SUGAPA is less than we expected but we hope that with good advertisement and "mouth to mouth" recommendation the subscriptions will grow to the necessary minimum to cover the finances of the magazine. The most important aim of this magazine is not just making it possible to publish in it quite easy, but to develope a magazine in which most entomologists will publish their information on Papuan insects and to be available to teachers and students in Papua and further.


The fourth issue contains:

D. Peggie, R.I. Vane-Wright & H. v. Mastrigt - A new member of the Ideopsis gaura superspecies (Lepidoptera: Danainae) from the Foja Mountains, Papua, Indonesia

Gerrit Withaar - Addenda & Corrigenda [on The distribution of the genus Tmesisternus Latreille, 1829 (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae, Tmesisternini), with the description of six new species from the Indonesian islands Flores and Sulawesi]

Students' corner:

Angginta Renta Simanjuntak - Inventory of Dragonflies and Damsleflies species (Odonata) in the Reserve Area of the Wondiboi Mountains, District Rasiei, Kabupaten Teluk Wondama [Wandammen]

Diah Rikamawanti - Inventory of beetle species (Coleoptera) in the Reserve Area of the Wondiboi Mountains, District Rasiei, Kabupaten Teluk Wondama [Wandammen]

Aini Shintawati - Diversity of butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) at the Tandia village, District Rasiei, Kabupaten Teluk Wondama [Wandammen]

The fifth issue contains:

Rob de Vos - The species of the genus Monosyntaxis Swinhoe from New Guinea, with description of a new species and the transfer of another to a new genus (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Lithosiinae)

Vincent J. Kalkman, Henk van Mastrigt & Stephen J. Richards - First records of dragonflies (Odonata) from the Foja Mountains, Papua Province, Indonesia

Students’ corner:

Yohanes L. A. Kaize - Comparison Study on the diversity of dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) inside and outside the National Reserve Wasur, Kabupaten Merauke (in Bahasa Indonesia)

Klemens S. Naraha - Comparison Study on the diversity of butterflies of the Superfamily Papilionoidea in the region East Biak and West Biak, Kabupaten Biak Numfor (in Bahasa Indonesia)

Lots of visits to New Guinea

The last few years an increasing number of entomologists payed a visit to Papua, as tourists but also with professional interest to the insects of this beautiful province of Indonesia. The reason for this increase is probably that the possibility to travel to Papua has become easier, but also the interest in the Papuan fauna has grown as belonging to one of the last places of paradise in the world. We hope that our website and activities also had its stimulating effect on this.

In the last newsletter of March 2009 we informed you about the survey we held in 2008 to Supiori Island, Lelambo and Walmak. But more surveys were held which are too interesting to ignore. A team of French entomologists of the Association des Lépidoptéristes de France (ALF) went to the Arfak Mountains, the Baliem Valley and Biak Island. They made hundreds of nice pictures of which we have the permission to use them for the website. They show a nice selection of these pictures and their stories on their own website which is certainly worth to visit.

At the end of 2007 Jari Hyvärinen and some colleagues from Finland visited the Island of Biak and discovered some very interesting Lepidoptera among which a new lithosiine moth (Arctiidae). Its description can be found in SUGAPA 4(2), the last issue of 2009. More of their results will appear hopefully in the next newsletter.

In March 2009 a survey was held on Misool Island by the Entomological Society of Latvia (Lettland) with D. Telnov, M. Kalnins, K. Greke and Z. Pipkaleja. They studied insects and non-marine Mollusca. We hope to get a report of this survey from them in our next newsletter.


Experiences during a beetle survey in the Arfak Mountains in March 2007 - Gerrit Withaar


Together with three German coleopterists I went to the Arfak Mountains in March 2007 for a few weeks. My special interest are the longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae), the genus Tmesisternus in particular. It seemed possible to fly from Jakarta to Manokwari (Papua) directly which is a lot easier and time saving than flying to Biak or Sentani first. With hotel "Mokwam" as home base we made some trips in the surroundings and did two more days surveys in the nearest area of the Arfak Mountains.
After finding a guide and the necessary preparations for the trip we went for five days to Mokwam, a very small village on the slopes of the Arfak Mountains at an altitude of 1800 meters. We slept in an empty house from Set, a local hotel manager who had absolutely nothing but his hospitality. Together with his two sons he cooked our diner every evening on a camp fire and helped us with collecting beetles and guided us around the area.
The surrounding of Mokwam is absolutely beautiful and very prolific in beetles. With Set we made a very steep climb to a balt place of a Bird of Paradise and a bower nest of a Bowerbird (see picture).
We also went for several days to the Anggi lakes in the southwestern part of the Arfak Mountains. On a sandy road and with a Four Wheel Drive it is now possible to reach the lakes. However, the area was a little disappointing. The surrounding was completely digged off for constructing sandy roads as if they were expecting a lot of tourists. There is no village out there, just a few houses for local Papua’s with no facilities at all. For a booming tourist centre a lot of work still has to be done! Again the hospitality of the very friendly people helped us to find a place to sleep. A lonely soldier offered his total empty cabin and we had to sleep on the floor. He lived there without any facility or luxury and he helped the local people with his salary. It was very cold and raining. People walked with blankets around their bodies. However, the results of our beetle hunt was quite successful, I found at least five new species of Tmesisternus during this trip!



Two important surveys in 2009, the lowlands of South New Guinea and Mioswaar Island - Henk van Mastrigt



On request of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) the Kelompok Entomologi Papua (KEP, Workgroup Papua Insects) joined two large surveys in 2009. One was held in the lowlands in South New Guinea in the Kabupaten Mappi (surrounding of Kepi and Senggo) and in the Kabupaten Asmat (along the Vriendschaps River). A second survey went to Mioswaar Island, an island North of Wondama (Wandammen) Peninsula. With an astonishing wealth of collected insects we returned from these two surveys. In 2010 we hope to report more comprehensively in SUGAPA on the results of these two trips.


Bivak at Vriendschaps River





Ekspedisie Riang-Riang, Fieldwork report 9 – 25 February 2009 - Arnold de Boer and Marieke Schouten


In February 2009 we visited Henk van Mastrigt and the Kelompok Entomologi Papua (KEP). During our stay in Papua we visited six different localities. Rinto H. Mambrasar accompanied and helped us throughout all field trips, he was of indispensable help. The main point of the trip was to collect cicadas.
In theory all genera we were interested in should occur around Jayapura – Sentani, each with one species. Based on museum material we knew that at least some could be found near the village of Genyem. We visited Besum, a small village near Genyem, where we could stay with the family of Edi Rosariyanto, a former student of Henk. The village was situated amid rice paddies and (former) cacao plantations. About one kilometer from the village a small patch of forest still remained; the forest was in very poor condition and heavily used. Here we collected for three succeeding nights. The first night, heavy rains troubled us but resulted in a great catch.
Back in Jayapura, Henk arranged a car and driver for us in order to go to Ubrub, a village close to the border of PNG, roughly halfway Jayapura and Oksibil. As road conditions were very bad, we stranded halfway on the first day, in Waris. The general problem with villages in Papua seems to be, that they are located along a river that can not be crossed after heavy rainfall, when the current is too strong and/or the water too deep. However, the best forest always seems to be found along the riverbank of the opposite side. So, many times we where forced to collect at the ‘wrong side of the river’. That night in Waris we collected about 55 specimens of cicadas, at the ’wrong side of the river’. Which can be considered an extremely good night for tropical rainforest in South East Asia. The next day Ubrub was reached and we encountered a setting comparable to that of Waris, only with the exception that the river was very shallow and could be crossed. We put up the screen at the old airstrip facing the rainforest. We used a double bulb setting, with one lamp facing the forest and the other the grass overgrown airstrip. It became evident that the smaller cicadas came out of the grass, while the bigger species came from the forest side. The last night we spend at Ampas, a village approximately 75 km from Jayapura. The road Ampas – Waris – Ubrub runs from lowland into the mountains with Ampas being almost at sea level and Ubrub at about 750 m. However, no clear distinctions in cicada fauna were encountered along this gradient, but it is difficult to say anything about that, based on only one night of trapping at each site.
Further our trip went to Landikma. Landikma is an isolated village at the northern side of the Maoke mountains (Baliem valley). In order to get there, one has to fly in with a small Cessna of the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) as there is no road to the village. Several Dutch missionaries have lived and worked in Landikma over the past twenty years. Now, the villagers have taken over the tasks of the missionaries (such as running the medical post, school and church) and the house of the mission is only used for short visits. Landikma is located at an altitude of 950 meters and the forest is still very pristine. Despite the beautiful surroundings collecting here was unfortunately very poor for cicadas. However, the cicada fauna of Landikma proved definitely different from that of the other localities.


The Muller Range expedition (PNG) - Vincent Kalkman



In September 2009 a four weeks expedition of Conservation International visited the Muller Range in Papua New Guinea. This mountain range lies in the western part of the central mountain range at about 150 km from the Indonesian border and is largely inaccessible and has for that reason remained unexplored. During this period fieldwork was conducted at three camps at approximately 500, 1800 and 2800 meters elevation. In addition to specialist for mammals, birds and plants also specialist for ants, katydids, spiders and dragonflies were present. The fieldwork was very successful with many new species being found for most groups. The success for dragonflies varied strongly from site to site. The first camp was rich with several new species or poorly known species being recorded. The second camp was in moss forest in a karstic area with almost no surface water. Due to this only one dragonfly was caught. The third camp was at a high elevation and only four species were recorded here. These included however some interesting records. The material is currently being worked upon and a faunistic publication will be published in 2010.




News about the Koleksi Serangga Papua (KSP, Papua Insect Collection) in Jayapura - Henk van Mastrigt



The year 2009 has been a special year for KSP (Koleksi Serangga Papua). The collection expanded tremendously. At the end of 2008 the total of numbered collection specimens was about 58,500, now we passed the number of 63,500 which means a growth of 5,000 specimens (8.5 %). The consequences of this meant a lot of work to do in the collection, like mounting, identifying, recording into the computer, photographing and finally inserting the specimens on the right place in the collection, which comprises at the moment about 170 cabinets with eight drawers (70x40) cm) each. This year the Odonata expanded most of all because on every survey someone was paying special attention to this group for the benefit of the research of Vincent Kalkman. Furthermore the Phasmida got more attention which resulted in quite large numbers of collected specimens.
This year until now six students graduated on entomological topics: three at the UNIPA (State University of Papua in Manokwari), two at the UNCEN (Universitas Cenderawasih in Waena) and one at the UKIP (Christian University of Papua in Sorong), one about Coleoptera, two about Odonata and three about Lepidoptera, all based on inventories or comparisons of captures.





The World Environmental Day 2009 - Henk van Mastrigt





Every year the World Environmental Day (5th June) is celebrated in a special way in Jayapura. This year an exhibition was held for four days on the SMP (college) property in Kotaraja, just outside Abepura, with the title "SELAMATKAN MANUSIA & HUTAN PAPUA" ("Save the humans and forest in Papua" or if you like "Save the Papuans and the Papuan forest"). All schools were invited, to participate or just to visit the exhibition. A couple of nongovernmental organisations also contributed with a presentation and even KEP was asked to contribute with a stand. With many insects, lots of books and magazines and even a quiz we attracted a lot of attention of the visitors.
It was great to see how pupils took the initiative to look up the names of the butterflies themselves. "Don't ask but just pick up a field guide and go searching" was their motto.











News on the website - Rob de Vos

Renovations and corrections in the website are part of a daily practice to keep the website up to date. However, we realized that many accidental visitors to the website were scared off by the many "boring" and unfamiliar checklists of all insect groups. With a daily average of more than 5500 visitors to our website it seems necessary to think of how to interest also the people who are just interested to look at showy pictures of New Guinea insects. That is why we decided to introduce thumbnail galleries attached to the insect pages. These thumbnails already show a nice picture but can be enlarged by just clicking it and on which some more information is visible then (scientific name, locality). Natural pictures as well as collection specimens can be displayed, although it is sometimes difficult to find proper natural images of the species. We also emphasize with a warning sign that in many cases these pictures alone cannot be used for scientific identifications. As you know in many insect groups it is necessary to have collected the actual specimens in order to dissect the animal and study the genitalia or other characters. The thumbnail galleries are not all ready yet for all groups, gradually there will appear more galleries in the website.

Available thumbnails at this moment are:

New or renewed items in the website are:

Insect pages:


An interesting part of the biography of Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811) is added to the history pages


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

At the moment we have contact with about 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 on you!