Imperial Sunstreak from Ecuador and Identification Assistance Request

Need ID for Neo tropical Conservation Project
Sat, May 30, 2009 at 6:13 PM
I won t post any photos here as there are too many but all of them are visible on flickr at:
If anybody can help in narowing some of the identifications, it would be greatly appreciated. The place is also available for research. Thanks in advance.
ecuador eastern slopes

Imperial Sunstreak
Imperial Sunstreak

Dear Thierry,
We almost didn’t open your email because at this time of year, we get numerous requests from lazy students who realize their entomology identification projects are due. They send us blurry photos and frantic requests so they don’t flunk their classes. Needless to say, we ignore those requests. Your project has us fascinated, and we wish we had the time to research the 100s of unknown specimens represented by your photographs. We are happy to post the link to your project in the event any of our readers want to take a stab at assisting you. If nothing else, our readers should enjoy scanning through your wonderful images. We are taking the liberty of posting an image of an Imperial Sunstreak, Arcas imperialis, and the accompanying text:
“Imperial Arcas, Imperial Sunstreak- Mariposa Brillante- October 2008-
Thanks Kim Garwood for IDing this!
…This Imperial Sunstreak is a spledid butterfly that lives from Mexico to Bolivia, in Colombia from sea level to 1500 masl. Some of the butterflies of this family have some hairy tails that they move constantly so the predators will get confused and if they bite they won´t do it in the head. Forewing average 20-22 mm. “

Dear Mr Marlos.
Thanks for your kind words and your support. The link you posted on you website is an honour for us and will prove to be of a great help. I didn t know entomology students could be lazy (endless biodiversity in that field can’t afford lazyness!), but I guess they are like any other students… I think I owe you a presentation so here we go:
My name is Thierry Garcia, Executive Director of the Sumac Muyu Foundation from Ecuador.
We are running a Conservation Project in Ecuador (the Bigal River Conservation Project), in the Amazon part of the Country, about 60 km from the city of Coca, at an altitude between 450 m and 1100 m above sea level. We are trying to protect 2500 acres of primary forest and its biodiversity and as the area is bordering Sumaco National Park, it is a major buffer zone. The Reserve is community owned and we are struggling everyday to get more and more local individuals involved in conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
The place is still pristine because of its remoteness, biodiversity is at its highest, it is covered with lush primary rainforest bordering Sumaco National Park, one of the less explored National Park in the country, and our first goal is to keep it this way.
I would also like to put across the fact that it is not a business we are trying to run here or another expensive jungle lodge, but a true Conservation Project based on education in the local communities, scientific research, and poverty eradication, through environmental awareness. Eco tourism will be used as a last resort to generate funds and salaries for the locals and, if implemented, it will be subject to strict regulation in order to minimize the impact on the ecosystem.
You can also visit our website for pictures and other info (in Spanish, English or French) at:
We are currently looking for a partnership (long or short term) involving research with a University or any other Organization in order to help us manage the place’s biodiversity in the best way as possible and to improve scientific knowledge of the area which is hardly inexistent. Needless to say, chances of discovering new species are high and that this place is in need of urgent protection, this is why we are looking for any kind of way to promote the area internationally so it becomes better known and better protected.
We are also looking for individual scientists or students who would be willing to help us identify some of the species just by analyzing the photos we could send them (or the one we post on flickr), or even better by paying us a visit in our area.
So far we have international experts for the following arthropods groups: phasmatodea, odonata, opiliones, scorpiones and amblipigy, rhopalocera, myriapoda, and I think that’s it. Any other groups needs help…
The importance for me in being in touch with specialists vs generalists is that I found out they are the only one who can ID photos without problem unless a new species occurs. This avoids collecting and therefore the bureaucracy maze involved in obtaining permits, plus it gives those animals a break at a crucial time in the history of our planet when I think every single creature deserves a break before mass extinction takes places.
Nevertheless our fondation has the necessary contacts to obtain permits and we can seriously facilitate permits obenition if needed.
I am looking forward to hearing from you. Let’s keep in touch and don’t hesitate to come and visit us at some poit if you can.
Best regards,
Thierry Garcia
Fundación Ecológica Sumac Muyu
00 (593) 087-105-383

Hello again Thierry,
Thanks for you wonderful explanation of your project.  We are horrified to think that you interpreted our comment to mean that we thought entomology students were lazy.  We actually meant students taking general biology classes which are often required in high school and college.  Those classes often require students to make an insect collection and identify the specimens.  We also hope you are successful in your conservation attempts.  Here in Los Angeles, we are often battling with our own conservation attempts.  Our offices are located in the neighborhood of Mount Washington where some of the last remaining open spaces with endangered California Black Walnut Trees, Juglans californica, are located.  Activists and environmentalists are constantly at odds with developers who want to cut the trees and build McMansions.

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