>> Japanese

Shigeru Eda Insect Collection. Part I. Lepidoptera, Rhopalocera

Catalogue of the Shigeru Eda Insect Collection,
The University Museum, The University of Tokyo
Part I.  Lepidoptera, Rhopalocera

Katsuhiro Awano1, Hideyuki Ozawa2*, Masaya Yago2 & Yoshiaki Nishino2

1) Major in Forest Life Science, Faculty of Agriculture, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8657 Japan
2) The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 Japan
* Present address: Tamachi Branch, Risona Bank, 5-34-2 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-0014 Japan


⇒ Image Gallery
Eda Cymothoe
The late Mr. Shigeru Eda (1930-2008) is remembered as one of the greatest insect collectors in Japan. His collection comprises many insect orders, especially Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and Coleoptera (notably unicorn beetle, stag beetles, gold beetles, flower beetles, carabid beetles, jewel beetles and longhorn beetles). Although much of the material was housed in the Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo, after his death many specimens were deposited in The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, in the autumn of 2009.

Mr. Eda was born in Tokyo on May 21, 1930 and died at the age of 78 on June 20, 2008. As a child he was fascinated with collecting insects in Ashiya City, Hyogo Pref. From his junior high school days he started to exchange insect specimens with foreign insect dealers, researchers and collectors, and collected many specimens of rare and beautiful butterflies and beetles. After graduating at Nada High School, he was admitted to the Faculty of Law, The University of Tokyo. In 1954, he entered the Ministry of Labour, held the section chief of Employment Security Section, Consumer and Labour Division of Hiroshima Pref. and the division manager of Statistics and Information Division, Minister's Secretariat. He retired from the ministry in 1983. Over the years he became more enthusiastic with collecting insects and exchanged actively with foreign museums, researchers, collectors and dealers. When he worked for four years at the Japanese embassy in the USA (Washington, D.C.), he exchanged many specimens with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, which has the largest insect collection in the world. After retirement, he continued to collect with considerable energy, amassing a huge collection comprising about 300,000 insect specimens from all over the world.

The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, is currently producing a database of Mr. Eda’s insect collection and making that data available through a series of publications and on the Internet. The “Catalogue of the Shigeru Eda Insect Collection” was developed as part of this project, and we aim to publish “Part I. Lepidoptera, Rhopalocera” of the collection in the bulletin series and museum website. The catalogue of butterflies contains 1,268 specimens in 23 cabinets, and includes many precious species from around the world. We hope that by publishing this database, it will not only contribute to various scientific fields such as taxonomy, biogeography and conservation biology, but also promote the importance of scientific specimens and museum collections to the general public.

⇒ Specimen List


We express our sincere thanks to the wife of the late Mr. Shigeru Eda, Mrs. Etsuko Eda, Dr. Yoshiaki Hashimoto, Mr. Shunichi Kawamura and Mr. Magoshichi Suda for their kind support, assistance and valuable information. We are indebted to Dr. Yasuhiro Ito for creating the Web page for this collection. We also would like to express our thanks to Dr Michael F. Braby for looking over the manuscript. This database was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Publication of Scientific Research Results (No. 248059) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.


The specific classification and identification follow mainly D’Abrera (1971, 1982, 1984, 1987ab, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2004) and Smart (1975), and also other sources of literature (see the following references).

  • D’Abrera, B., 1971. Butterflies of the Australian Region. Lansdowne, Melbourne.
  • D’Abrera, B., 1982. Butterflies of the Oriental Region. Part I. Hill House, Victoria.
  • D’Abrera, B., 1984. Butterflies of the Neotropical Region. Part II. Danaidae, Ithomiidae, Heliconidae, Morphidae. Hill House, Victoria.
  • D’Abrera, B., 1987a. Butterflies of the Neotropical Region. Part III. Brassolidae, Acraeidae, Nymphalidae (Partim). Hill House, Victoria.
  • D’Abrera, B., 1987b. Butterflies of the Neotropical Region. Part IV. Nymphalidae (Partim). Hill House, Victoria.
  • D'Abrera, B., 1988. Butterflies of the Neotropical Region Part V. Nymphalidae (Conc.) & Satyridae. Hill House, Victoria.
  • D’Abrera, B., 1990. Butterflies of the Holarctic Region. Part I. Papilionidae, Pieridae, Danaidae & Satyridae (Partim). Hill House, Victoria.
  • D’Abrera, B., 1992. Butterflies of the Holarctic Region. Part 2. Satyridae (concl.), Nymphalidae (partim). Hill House, Victoria.
  • D’Abrera, B., 1997. Butterflies of the Afrotropical Region. Part 1. Papilionidae, Pieridae, Acraeidae, Danaidae, Satyridae. Hill House, Victoria.
  • D’Abrera, B., 2004. Butterflies of the Afrotropical Region. Part 2. Nymphalidae (complete), Libytheidae. Hill House, Victoria.
  • Dickson, C. G. C. & Kroon, D. M. (Eds.), 1979. Pennington’s Butterflies of Southern Africa. AD. Donker, Johannesburg.
  • Kielland, J., 1990. Butterflies of Tanzania. Hill House, Melbourne/London.
  • Larsen, T. B., 2005. Butterflies of West Africa. Apollo Books, Stenstrup.
  • Parsons, M., 1998. The butterflies of Papua New Guinea. Their systematics and biology. Academic Press, San Diego.
  • Sakai, S., 1981. Butterflies of Afghanistan. Kodansha, Tokyo.
  • Sakai, S., Inaoka, S., Aoki, T., Yamaguchi, S. & Watanabe, Y., 2002. The Parnassiology. The Parnassius Butterflies, A Study in Evolution. Kodansha, Tokyo.
  • Scott, J. A., 1986. The Butterflies of North America. A Natural History and Field Guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford.
  • Smart, P., 1975. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Butterfly World. Salamander Books, London.
  • Van Son, G., 1979. The Butterflies of Southern Africa. Part IV. Nymphalidae: Nymphalinae. Transvaal Museum, Pretoria.
  • Verhulst, J. T., 2000. Les Colias du Globe. Monograph of the Genus Colias. Goecke & Evers, Keltern.
  • Yagishita, A., Nakano, S. & Morita, S., 1993. An illustrated list of the Genus Delias Hübner of the World. Khepera Publishers, Singapore.