Category Archives: Publications

A Guide to the Butteflies of the Serra dos Orgaos, South-eastern Brazil now available

Co-author Jorge Bizarro with our new Guide to the Butteflies of the Serra dos Orgaos, South-eastern Brazil
Co-author Jorge Bizarro with our new Guide to the Butteflies of the Serra dos Orgaos, South-eastern Brazil

Tropical America is one of the regions on Earth with the greatest animal and botanical biodiversity. Brazil, due to its continental dimensions, is included in the roll of the top five countries with the greatest biological wealth, which includes a rich fauna of butterflies with two different aspects: the fauna of the Amazon and that of the Atlantic Forest.

With the advent of digital cameras, many citizens began to spend their leisure hours on nature walks and adventures, using these cameras to record the beauties they are observing, obviously butterflies are one of the preferred targets of these ecotourists within the group of insects. But there are so many species, that for those who are not specialists in this group (Lepidoptera), it is difficult to identify the majority of them. Unfortunately and unlike birds, the butterfly guides published in Brazil are counted on less than a handful, precisely because the number of species exceeds 4000, with around 1000 in the Atlantic Forest biome alone!

Thus, it is with great satisfaction and joy that we finally managed to publish this guide for the Serra dos Órgãos, the central mountain range of the State of Rio de Janeiro, after 4 years of exhaustive research, writing and searching for natural photos of the species included (just over 800), which encompasses almost all of those registered for the area. The book was made possible with the collaboration of more than a dozen people (amateurs and professionals, such as the late Luiz Claudio Marigo) who made their photos, data and records of butterflies in south-east Brazil available. This area encompasses 90% of the Brazilian butterfly species listed as threatened or vulnerable under the IUCN criteria, with 20% of them occurring in the Serra dos Órgãos.

Unfortunately, in order to make a minimum of 500 copies, we had to choose the English language to cover a potential larger audience that could find some use in the book. Even though a bilingual edition was originally considered, it was later found that printing costs, sales price, etc. would be excessively high, and our aim has always been to provide an extremely accessible identification tool for the general public.

Orders worldwide can be made from NHBS. Orders within the the UK may also be placed direct with co-author Alan Martin (please send a cheque payable to the ‘Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Trust’ with your name and address to Alan Martin, Alureds Oast, Northiam, East Sussex, TN31 6JJ, England).

New REGUA book off to print: Butterflies of the Serra dos Orgaos

Cover of A Guide to the Butterflies of the Serra dos Orgaos, due to be publoshed soon.
Cover to REGUA’s forth book A Guide to the Butterflies of the Serra dos Orgaos

Back in 2015 Alan Martin and Jorge Bizarro started work on a guide to butterflies to accompany the three REGUA books already published that are specific to the REGUA area (hawkmoths, dragonflies and birds). What started as a three year project has taken five years, partly because the number of species recorded in the area is more than had been anticipated but also because it proved very difficult to source photos of some of the rarer species.

The book is now about to be printed and it covers 803 species (excluding grass skippers) with descriptions, comparisons to similar species, global distribution and notes on the ecology, behaviour and host plants. All but three of the species are illustrated with over 1,300 photos of live specimens or where not available, photos of pinned specimens. There are also introductory texts for each family, subfamily and tribe.

The book will be distributed by NHBS, but in the UK is best ordered from Alan Martin at a reduced price of £30 plus £5 postage (please see our Publications page for details). All the profits from the sale of the book will go to REGUA.

Photographing butterflies for the forthcoming Guide to the Butteflies of the Serra dos Orgaos

Pygas eighty-eight <em>Paulogramma pygas</em>, photographed at REGUA, May 2019, showing the "88" on the underside of the hindwing (© Robert Locke)
Pygas eighty-eight Paulogramma pygas, photographed at REGUA, May 2019, showing the “88” on the underside of the hindwing (© Robert Locke)
The stunning Four-spot Sailor <em>Dynamine. posverta</em> male, REGUA, June 2019 (© Robert Locke)
The stunning Four-spot Sailor Dynamine. posverta male, REGUA, June 2019 (© Robert Locke)

Robert Locke is visiting us at REGUA and we know how he enjoys taking photographs of butterflies, an interest that he has enjoyed for many years. Two species he found and photographed recently are Paulogramma pygas (previously Callicore) also known as the Pygas eighty-eight, and Dynamine postverta also known as the Four-spot Sailor.

P. pygas is restricted to much of high altitude South America. Its common name refers to the underside of the hindwing which shows an “88” shape in the pattern. D. postverta is restricted to much of western lowland South America, preferring woodlands and farmland.

Both are beautiful butterfly species and both male and female will be featured in a new book currently being prepared on the Butterflies of the Serra dos Órgãos, the surrounding mountain range to REGUA and one of the most biodiverse regions of Brazil. The Serra dos Órgãos mountains range is a biodiversity hotspot and REGUA is considered to be a very well preserved and protected area within this range.

As REGUA continues to increase the area under our protection, creating corridors for wildlife and strengthening the range of trees planted, we are securing the future for all its inhabitants. These two wonderful species of butterfly are part of the beauty to be found here.

Should you like to visit REGUA and take photographs that could be featured in the Butterflies of the Serra dos Órgãos publication, we would be very happy to receive you!

Carea Castalia photographed near REGUA

Castalia Green Mantle <em>Carea castalia</em> photographed near REGUA (© Nicholas Locke)
Castalia Green Mantle Carea castalia photographed near REGUA (© Nicholas Locke)

I recently came across this beautiful iridescent green butterfly several kilometres from the reserve. Jorge Bizarro, REGUA’s resident lepidopterist and Research Coordinator, confirmed the example as a male Carea castalia, also known as Castalia Green Mantle. Jorge had previously seen the same species on REGUA’s brown trail two years ago.

Adrian Hoskins, on his website Learn about Butterflies (Amazonia section) describes the family Carea as being some of the most beautiful butterflies on the planet and indeed coming across this individual, I could not believe the iridescent green on the thorax and wings. These butterflies are stated to be restless and once they take off are difficult to follow in surrounding undergrowth which perfectly confirms Jorge’s experience of the butterfly he saw at REGUA.

As Jorge and Alan Martin are writing the book on Butterflies found at REGUA and the Serra dos Órgãos region, this photograph could well be included. Should you have photos of butterflies seen here at the reserve, please feel free to email them to us as we would love to see them. For contact details click here.

Butterfly rarity, Ortilia polinella, found at REGUA

Female <em>Ortilia polinella</em>, REGUA, 15 October 2013 (© Duncan McGeough)
Female Ortilia polinella, REGUA, 15 October 2013 (© Duncan McGeough)

Work on the next REGUA field guide, A Guide to the Butteflies of the Serra dos Orgaos, South-eastern Brazil, is progressing at good pace, and with it lots of new knowledge about the local butterfly fauna, together with some novelties, new records from guests, and volunteers and visitor’s photographs have been consistently pouring in.

One notable rarity was found by Duncan McGeough, a volunteer from Germany in October 2013, just 30 metres from the REGUA office. Ortilia polinella (A. Hall, 1928), a crescent butterfly, is a cousin of the Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia from Europe. Known from less than a half-dozen localities in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo, and also very seldom found in collections (only three females and six males in the Natural History Museum, London) this was a superb find!

The photo depicts a worn female sun basking, probably in between short exploratory flights to find a suitable plant for ovipositing. Adults are mainly forest species that dwell in sunlit areas like trails, clearings, forest edges, etc. It’s biology is unknown, but other species in the genus use Justicia spp. as foodplants (Acanthaceae).

Further information about Ortilia polinella can be found here:

Duncan has also helped with the creation of the REGUA moth leaflet that guests can pick up at the lodge, featuring 60 common moths easily spotted at the moth wall.

Photos required for 4th REGUA book – Butterflies of the Serra dos Órgãos

One of REGUA’s objectives is to encourage a wider interest and knowledge of the incredible biodiversity of the Serra dos Orgaos. REGUA has already published three books covering Hawkmoths (2011), Dragonflies and Damselflies (2015) and Birds (2015).

Now Jorge Bizarro and Alan Martin are working on a 4th book covering the Butterflies of the Serra dos Órgãos. This is a mammoth task and will cover about 500 species, of which we have so far written the text for Papilionidae (28 species), Pieridae (36 species) and are now working on Riodinidae.

Each species text will include a description, notes on similar species, distribution and ecology plus of course photographs where available. An example is shown below.


We are still missing good photographs of many of the species that will be covered in the book, so we would welcome any photographs of butterflies taken at or near REGUA which should be sent to Alan Martin at It may take another year to complete the texts, so there is still plenty of opportunity to take those pictures, and of course every picture will be acknowledged if used.

Amendment to the REGUA odonata list

In the recently published field guide on the odonata of REGUA, A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Serra dos Orgaos, the scientific name of the Blue-wedged Dancer is given as Argia claussenii. Rosser Garrison pointed out that this in fact is A. croceipennis, therefore we have amended our Odonata list. We are indebted to Rosser for sharing drawings and scans of both species with us that support his view.

The appendages of these two species are quite similar and there are also considerable similarities in colour pattern. However, under the microscope the difference in the shape of the cerci (placement of ventral tooth) can be clearly seen.

In the field there are luckily also a few differences that help identify the species. Argia claussenii has clear wings, whereas those of A. croceipennis are amber colored, and A. claussenii has an occipital bar, whereas A. croceipennis does not. These characteristics are very much in line with the species occurring in fast flowing and rocky streams in the foothills of REGUA. Below are examples of both species, kindly made available by Rosser.


The field guide A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Serra dos Orgaos, South-eastern Brazil is available for sale at the lodge and online. See the publications page for details.

Orders from other countries should be sent directly to Tom Kompier at Copies will also be available from the REGUA stand at the British Birdfair on 21st – 23rd August at Rutland.

The new odonata book is available in the UK

dragonflies-damselflies-front-coverTom Kompier’s excellent new book A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Serra dos Orgaos is now available in the UK from Alan Martin. This book describes all 204 species known from the REGUA area and is illustrated with 560 photos.

Please send a cheque for £30.50 which includes postage and packing, made out to the ‘Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Trust’ with your name and address to Alan at Alureds Oast, Northiam, East Sussex TN31 6JJ.

Orders from other countries should be sent directly to Tom Kompier at

Dragonfly News article: REGUA – the world’s best dragonfly hotspot?

article-dragonfly-news-67With 204 species of dragonfly and damselfy now identified at REGUA, the Reserve is a strong contender for having the highest odonata diversity of any site on Earth.

In the spring issue of Dragonfly News, the magazine of the British Dragonfly Society, Dave Smallshire writes about the highlights of a recent dragonfly tour to REGUA that saw the group finding 42 species at the wetland in the first three hours on their first day, and an amazing 166 species during the two week trip, including several rarities!

Dragonfly News is available in the UK to British Dragonfly Society members. Details on how to join and get a hold of the article can be found on their website.

New REGUA publication: Dragonflies & Damselflies of the Serra dos Orgaos

dragonflies-damselflies-front-coverWe are thrilled to be able to announce the imminent publication of our new REGUA publications book A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Serra dos Orgaos.

The book has been written by Tom Kompier and describes all of the 204 known species from REGUA and its surroundings. Illustrated with 560 photos and an additional 125 plates, we think this is a milestone in the study and observation of this stunning group of insects.

Publication is due in April. For pre-orders or additional information, please contact Tom Kompier directly at

Trip reports web page updated

We’ve just updated the Trip reports page on our website to include all birding trip reports we can find for 2013. These reports not only include bird sightings at REGUA and on excursions taken from the lodge, but often also sightings of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects as well. For an excellent report on mammals, check out Steve Morgan’s report on mammals he recorded at REGUA from April to July this year.

New hawkmoth website goes live

In May 2011, A Guide to the Hawkmoths of the Serra dos Orgaos, South-eastern Brazil was published, but now most of the content is also available on the website Brazil Hawkmoths.

This new website includes all the photographs of pinned and live specimens, plus a number of new photos and some corrections found since the book’s publication. However there are still some species for which photos are needed, so if you can fill the gaps or if you have better photos than the ones included, please do get in touch via We also want to improve our knowledge on flight times, so all records with dates are welcome.

Copies of the guide are available from Alan Martin (via the email address above), or from NHBS (who can ship worldwide).

Second edition of Checklist of the Birds of REGUA

We’ve just finished producing the second edition of our Checklist of the Birds of REGUA. Changes from the first edition include all text in Portuguese as well as English, the addition of another 10 species since found on the reserve, updated taxonomy and improvements to the seasonal data for many species. Copies will be available at the lodge from this Saturday and are also for sale in the UK. For details of the later and a preview of some of the pages click here.

Neotropical Birding article on birds at REGUA now online

REGUA has some of the highest avian diveristy in the Atlantic Forest with 462 species recorded to date. Last year REGUA supporter, Lee Dingain, wrote an article about the REGUA’s speciality birds for the Neotropical Bird Club’s Neotropical Birding magazine. The article is useful for any birders visiting the reserve and is now available online to download for free. Visit Lee’s blog for details.

Amendments to hawkmoths book

Since the publication of A Guide to the Hawkmoths of the Serra dos Orgaos, South-eastern Brazil in May 2011, there have been a number of taxonomic changes amongst the region’s Sphingidae, and in addition we have also found two significant errors on the identification plates. Therefore, we have produced an addendum to accompany the book, which also includes details of two new species for Rio state. To download the addendum, click here. If you would like a copy of the book then you can purchase it either through NHBS (who can ship worldwide), or by emailing Alan Martin at

Presentation of the Guide to the Serra dos Órgãos in Rio de Janeiro

The First Rio de Janeiro’s Symposium of Entomology (10 EntomoRio) was held on the 4, 5 and 6th May at the library of the Museu Nacional (UFRJ). The event featured around 130 participants from most Rio public universities and 61 paper presentations and 9 lectures on various topics. Among these, the highlights were a few studies on the insects of the Organ Mountains, like for example: “Species of Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera-Papilionoidea) occurring in Samabaia Farm, Petrópolis, RJ” presented by the staff of Oswaldo Cruz Institute consisting of: Marcio Abreu Silva, Aline Vieira Miranda, Daniele Cerri, and Jane Costa, with the collaboration of Mr. Nirton Tangerini, which participated on the research concerning the preliminary checklist of REGUA’s diurnal Lepidoptera (butterflies).

Invited by the EntomoRio Organizing Committee, Alexandre Soares and Jorge Bizarro attended the event to make an informal first presentation of REGUA Books first publication – Guide to Hawkmoths of Serra dos Órgãos – to the Brazilian Research community in the State of Rio. So, we were provided with the opportunity to distribute a leaflet flyer featuring the books web address at the NHBS bookshop to around 80 personal contacts the. Unfortunately, we still lack copies available in Brazil for selling to the already 30 or more people that showed interest in acquiring the book.

New articles on the birds of REGUA

The last few months have seen two articles published on the birds of REGUA. The first is an article written by our guide Leonardo Pimentel and Fábio Olmos, published in Cotinga, summarising the results of survey work carried out at REGUA since 2003. Cotinga is now available online and you can download the article from the Neotropical Birding website. The second article, published in Neotropical Birding, is by REGUA supporter Lee Dingain, and describes where and when to find the REGUA’s speciality birds (more on Lee’s blog). Neotropical Birding is available to Neotropical Bird Club members. To join please visit their website.

REGUA’s first book is published

Over the last two years Alan Martin with his co-authors Alexandre Soares and Jorge Bizarro have been working on the comprehensive A Guide to the Hawkmoths of the Serra dos Orgaos, South-eastern Brazil, which is due to be printed at the end of April. This book is the first to provide a comprehensive guide to all the 110 species of hawkmoths that have been recorded in the region, and for each species there is a detailed text which includes taxonomic nomenclature, distribution and flight times, along with key identification features. There are 37 colour plates illustrating all the species from above and below for males and females, and there are over 120 colour photos showing many of the hawkmoths in their natural resting postures which were mostly taken at REGUA. Using these illustrations, photos and text any keen observer, with no prior knowledge, should be able to readily identify any of the species described. The book also includes several introductory chapters which cover general information on the Serra dos Órgãos and hawkmoth life history and development, and these chapters are provided in both English and Portuguese. The Appendices also include a comprehensive list of larval host plants by genera. Although the book focuses on the Serra dos Órgãos, many of the species covered have wide distributions across the neotropics. This book should therefore appeal not only to those interested in the hawkmoths of Brazil, but to a much wider audience.

This is planned to be the first of a series of guides to be produced on REGUA and the immediate area, and will hopefully help to stimulate further interest and research into the remarkable biodiversity of the area. The profits from the sale of this book will support the research programme at REGUA.

The book will be distributed by NHBS Environment Bookstore but there is a pre-publication offer for REGUA supporters of £20.00 plus postage and packing (£2.50 in the UK) for orders sent direct to Alan Martin at

REGUA in new rainforest book

Cover of John Feltwell’s latest book Rainforests

John Feltwell’s latest book, Rainforests has just been published and contains over 600 pages and 300 colour plates describing the marvels of the rainforest from the forest floor to the rainforest canopy. John is a trustee of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Trust and a long-time supporter of REGUA, which is mentioned regularly throughout the book and there is a separate chapter on Atlantic rainforests.

We have negotiated a special price of £40 to include postage in the UK, from which John will donate £5 to REGUA for each order. The book can be ordered by sending a cheque (made payable to John Feltwell) to John Feltwell, Marlham, Henley Down, Catsfield, Battle, East Sussex, TN33 9BN, but please make sure you mention that you are a friend of REGUA.