Remarks on the recent publication of Titian R. Peale’s “lost manuscript,” including new information about Peale’s Lepidoptera illustrations
The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera
ISSN 0022-4324 (print)
Abstract.The recent book The Butterflies of North America: Titian Peale’s Lost Manuscript introduces
over two hundred previously unpublished drawings of butterflies and moths by the naturalist-artist
Titian Ramsay Peale. In many instances, this book provides inaccurate and insufficient information
about Peale’s illustrations and the specimens they portray. A number of species are misidentified
and the nomenclature is sometimes outdated. A detailed analysis of these illustrations reveals that
many of the depicted specimens still exist. It was also discovered that Peale copied over fifty of his
larvae, pupae, and plants from at least ten published works. With the assistance of twelve other
lepidopterists and botanists, the insects and plants portrayed in Peale’s illustrations are re-identified.
New information about Peale’s abandoned work, Lepidoptera Americana, is also presented.
Key words: John Abbot, butterflies, larva, Mexico, moths, North America, plants, pupa, South America.
Received: 9 January 2016
Published online at www.lepidopteraresearchfoundation.org on 1 May 2016