Many more: One for You!
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According to Sigbert Wagener who was the famous German butterflies scientist, Saimbeyli is a one of the 10 top butterfly sites in Turkey. To date, 11 endemic and 15 rare, 125 butterfly species in total were recorded in Saimbeyli in previous years, and those findings have been published in scientific works. Researches and observations until today, have been made mainly by Germans and French butterfly scientists in Saimbeyli which has a significant wealth in terms of diversity of butterfly species.

 

The first observations in Saimbeyli were carried out in 1885 by J. J. Manisadjian who was appointed to collect samples in the in South, East and Southeast Anatolia between 1875-1897. Manissadjian was one of the members of the team for 20 people who were employed by Otto Staudinger, the famous German entomologist and natural history merchant to collect samples from every corner of the world towards the end of the 1800s. The samples collected by this group have been stored in Zoologische Staatssammlung München, Germany. Some parts of the samples are in Zoologisches Museum der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany.

 

Saimbeyli was one of the research areas that attracted interest of German, British and French butterfly scientists during 1900s. Harry van Oorschot, Dutch lepidopterist visited Saimbeyli very often. Van Oorschot visited Saimbeyli 3 times in the 80s and collected butterfly samples. He and his colleagues discovered an endemic butterfly species to Saimbeyli, Saimbeyli Blue (Polyommatus theresiae), in their observation in 1991, and they announced this new butterfly species to the world with a publication (Schurian, van Oorschot & van den Brink, 1992)[2] had been done in 1992. Today, we are grateful to Schurian and his colleagues for their work that opens the way to butterfly basis ecotourism for Saimbeyli.

 

The widespreading of the Internet in the last decade, development and progress in Information and Communication Technologies have led to an increase in the number of amateur photographers in Turkey. The people interested in butterfly photography have established various internet sites on butterfly photography and have started to come together. Thus, formed groups began to engage in fieldwork and photography together and also began to make observations in course of expeditions.

 

The number of species has been estimated to be around 160 in field studies carried out in Saimbeyli by amateur observers consisting of the Butterflies Monitoring and Photography Society members of Turkey, AdaMerOs Butterfly Turkey[1]. For example, Marash Blue (Polyommatus marashi) seen in Saimbeyli in 2012 was published as the first record for the Province Adana[3] by Cebeci et al (2013). In addition, there are tens of butterfly has previously recorded by the members of AdaMerOs Butterfly Society in Turkey. For example, Ionian emperor (Thaleropis ionia), Dusky meadow brown (Hyponephele lycaonoides), Blue argus (Aricia anteros), Hatay’s beautiful blue (Polyommatus antiochenus), Anatolian Zephyr Blue (Plebejus modicus), Dark green flitillary (Argynnis aglaja), and others weren’t in previous records for Saimbeyli but they are among the species published by AdaMerOs Butterflies Society in Turkey[1].

 

The field studies of Turkish butterfly observers in recent years have begun to happy us with a variety of discoveries and the results obtained that we proud. Ali Bali who is a friend of us and a butterfly observer from Osmaniye recorded a new butterfly species in Andırın in 2015; Ali Bali’s Blue (Polyommatus alibalii, Carbonell 2015) took part in the literature. In an article published in National Geographic Turkey about Polyommatus alibalii, Ali Bali says "I am very happy. My dream came true. I believe that many hidden species in our country is waiting to be discovered and I will try find out them during rest of my life."

 

As our friend Ali Bali says, still as many, dozens of unnamed species of butterflies fly on the hills of the Taurus Mountains to be discovered. Therefore, Saimbeyli and around of the area offers you opportunities for exploring a butterfly that bears your name forever like so Schurian and his colleagues, and Ali Bali.

 

Saimbeyli invites you to discover your own butterfly. There are many species which have already been discovered. But who knows; maybe a special one waits to be discovered by you. Even though you do not discover a new one, the most beautiful ones will be waiting just for you to see and take amazing photos of them...

 

Prof.Dr. Zeynel Cebeci

Çukurova University

Faculty of Agriculture

Division of Biometry & Genetics

Adana, Turkey – 11th Feb, 2016

 

References

 

[1] ADAMEROS, AdaMeros Kelebek Türkiye – Türkiye Kelebek Gözlemcileri ve Fotoğrafçıları Topluluğu. http://www.adameros.org  

 

[2] SCHURIAN, K.G., H. VAN OORSCHOT & H. VAN DEN BRINK, 1992. Polyommatus (Agrodiaetus) poseidon (H.-S.) und Polyommatus (Agrodiaetus) theresiae sp. nov. aus der Türkei (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). - Nachr. ent. Ver. Apollo, N.F. 12 (4): 217-232. 1 Farbtaf., 2 Abb.  

 

[3] CEBECİ, Z., ATAY, A., SARIGÜL, T., SALKUTLU, S., ÇELİK, M. & İŞLEK, İ. (2013). Maraş Mavisi (Polyommatus (Agrodiaetus) maraschi) (Lycaenidae: Lepidoptera)’ninAdana İli İçin İlk Kaydı, Karadeniz Fen Bilimleri Dergisi / The Black Sea Journal of Sciences 3(8):21-26.  http://kfbd.giresun.edu.tr/fileadmin/user_upload/2013_ilkbahar/3.pdf   

 

[4] ÇİÇEK, G., BALİ, A., 2016. Türkiye´de Yeni Bir Kelebek Türü Bulundu.  National Geographic Türkiye (14.1.2016). http://www.nationalgeographic.com.tr/makale/turkiye´de-yeni-bir-kelebek-turu-bulundu/2709