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Rob de Vos

Entomological collections - Lepidoptera (Heterocera)


Email: rob.devos@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71-7519304
Room number: Darwinweg 2, room number C03.10
“In the moth collection I feel like being in a candy store!”

Moths have been my passion since I was a young boy and it never left me. Moreover, I like to promote the interest for moths to other people and because there are so many beautiful, interesting and astonishing moth species with amazing stories to tell about, I always manage to attract the attention of visitors and guests of the collection.


My career started in 1988 when I finished my study Biology (taxonomic entomology) as a part time preparator technician of butterflies and moths in the Zoological Museum of Amsterdam (ZMA). From January 2001 I had a steady job in the ZMA as a preparator technician and collection manager of the moths collection. At 22nd May 2011 the ZMA fused together with Naturalis and the Wageningen collection to a new institute: the Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Together with the collection all employees moved with it to Leiden. In Leiden I became the collection manager of all Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), but this immense insect group was too much to handle for one collection manager, dealing with about 3 million specimens in 35,000 drawers! Recently the Lepidoptera collection is split into two groups to manage: the butterflies collection, which is managed by Mrs. Eulalia Gasso-Miracle, and the moths collection, which is run by me.


Collection interest

I am working in the moth collection (Lepidoptera, Heterocera). Projects dealing with moths with which I am involved are the Dutch moth research by the Workgroup Lepidoptera Faunistics, the Lepidoptera Foundation (Vlinderstichting) and the Papua Insects Foundation (see information in Public outreach)


lepidoptera, expedition, netherlands, faunistics, collection, inventory, new guinea, taxonomy


Workgroup Lepidoptera Faunistics (Werkgroep Vlinderfaunistiek), the Dutch Lepidoptera Foundation (De Vlinderstichting), Papua Insects Foundation (Stichting Papua Insecten), Natural History Museum London, Koleksi Entomologi Papua, Thomas Witt Foundation (Witt Museum), Humboldt Museum Berlin, Senckenberg Museum Frankfurt am Main, etc.

Public outreach

Since 1987 I cooperated with Mr. B.J. Lempke in the publications on the Dutch migratory Lepidoptera and interesting records of indigenous species. This was an ongoing project since 1940 and therefore the longest continuing research on migratory Lepidoptera in the world. In 1993 B.J. Lempke passed away and from that moment I took over this project until 2010. With the knowledge of moth species of the Dutch and Indo-Australian fauna I am consulted many times to identify specimens and pictures.

As a taxonomic entomologist I specialized in the Tigermoths (Erebidae: Arctiinae) of Southeast Asia in general and those of New Guinea in particular. Frequently I publish in entomological magazines with reviews, faunistic overviews and descriptions of new species. I have been five times on expedition in the Indonesian part of New Guinea, Papua and Papua Barat, to study the Tigermoths and other moths of that region. In 2006 I founded, together with some colleagues, the Papua Insects Foundation, which supports the local Biology students studying the insect fauna of their homeland and to initiate respect for the nature around them. The website www.papua-insects.nl supports the activities of the foundation and provides information on the insect fauna with checklists and species pages and a lot more, like history of (entomological) expeditions, a gazetteer, literature references and so on. More than 50 international entomologists are cooperating to deliver pictures, checklists and other information for the website and the website is frequently visited, not only by scientists but also by amateurs, schools and universities from all over the world.

For this activity and the previous activities with the Dutch migratory Lepidoptera and the Workgroup Lepidoptera Faunistics I received in 2008 the honorary Uyttenboogaart-Eliasen Price and in 2011 I received a certificate of appreciation of the Universitas Cenderawasih (UNCEN) in Waena, Papua, Indonesia, for the close cooperation and friendship I have with the students and teachers of the university.


Research interest

One of the aims of the Papua Insect Foundation is to discover and to inventory biodiversity hot spots and areas of endemism (with species that are unique for those areas). This information is essential for nature preservation and can help to indicate important areas which should be protected from logging and cultivation. Making inventories helps to gather information on this and while doing this unavoidably new species are being found and have to be described. I am dealing with the Tigermoths to review, revise and describe new species. Other groups are being dealt with by specialists all over the world. Inventories are not only held during expeditions and field trips but also in important collections like that of NBC and other museums in the world.


Alewijk, G.L.N. van & R. de Vos, 1987. Een inventarisatie van Schietmotten en Kokerjuffers (Insecta: Trichoptera) uit bronbeken en sprengen op de Veluwezoom. Verslagen en Technische Gegevens 47: 1-72.

De Vos, R., 1987a. Eana incanana nieuw voor de Nederlandse fauna (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Entomologische Berichten 47(11): 165-166.

De Vos, R., 1987b. Een melanistische vorm van Euzophera pinguis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Entomologische Berichten 47(12): 172.

Goot, V.S. van der & R. de Vos, 1988. Zwermen van Rhamphomyia marginata in de schemering (Diptera: Empididae). Entomologische Berichten 48(4): 49-52.

Botosaneanu, L., R. de Vos & G.L.N. van Alewijk, 1989. Enkele interessante Trichoptera van voornamelijk bronnen en bronbeken op de Veluwezoom. Entomologische Berichten 49(4): 45-49.

Lempke, B.J. & R. de Vos, 1989. Trekvlinders in 1987 (achtenveertigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 49(6): 77-81.

Lempke, B.J. & R. de Vos, 1990. Trekvlinders in 1988 (negenenveertigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 50(4): 37-41.

De Vos, R., 1990. Eenvoudig nachtvlinders kijken. Vlinders 5(4): 115-119.

Lempke, B.J. & R. de Vos, 1991. Trekvlinders in 1989 (vijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 51(4): 50-56.

De Vos, R., 1991. Cydia amplana nieuw voor Nederland en een recente waarneming van Selagia spadicella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae; Pyralidae). Entomologische Berichten 51(6): 82-84.

Lempke, B.J. & R. de Vos, 1992. Trekvlinders in 1990 (eenenvijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 52(5): 53-62.

De Vos, R., 1992. Handleiding bij het waarnemen en registreren van Nederlandse trekvlinders. Trekvlinderregistratie Nederland: 24 pp. Amsterdam.

De Vos, R., 1992. Korstmossen en vlinders. Vlinders 7(4): 10-11.

De Vos, R., A.L.M. Rutten & B.J. Lempke, 1993. Trekvlinders in 1991 (tweeënvijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 53(4): 51-60.

Zumkehr, P.J. & R. de Vos, 1994. De verspreiding van Eumichtis lichenea in Nederland (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Entomologische Berichten 54(5): 105-108.

De Vos, R., 1995. Nyctemera groenendaeli spec.nov. from New Guinea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Nyctemerinae). Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo 15(4): 481-489.

De Vos, R., 1995. A revision of Nyctemera consobrina (Hopffer, 1874) with redescriptions of three subspecies (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Nyctemerinae). Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo 16(1): 81-93.

De Vos, R., 1995. Naam- en codelijst van de Nederlandse Macro-Nachtvlinders (Lepidoptera: Heterocera). Verslagen en Technische Gegevens 64: 1-100.

De Vos, R. & A.L.M. Rutten, 1995. Trekvlinders in 1992 (drieënvijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 55(3): 37-46.

De Vos, R. & A.L.M. Rutten, 1995. Trekvlinders in 1993 (vierenvijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 55(9): 137-146.

De Vos, R. & P.J. Zumkehr, 1995. De verspreiding van Omphaloscelis lunosa in Nederland (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Entomologische Berichten 55(11): 169-173.

De Vos, R., 1996. Nyctemera pseudokala sp.nov. and N. mastrigti sp.nov., two new species from Indonesia (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Nyctemerinae). Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo 17(3): 301-311.

De Vos, R. & A.L.M. Rutten, 1996. Trekvlinders in 1994 (vijfenvijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 56(2): 17-27.

De Vos, R. & A.L.M. Rutten, 1996. Trekvlinders in 1995 (zesenvijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 56(12): 177-191.

De Vos, R., 1997. A revision of Nyctemera kebeae (Bethune-Baker, 1904) (with descriptions of two new subspecies) and N. warmasina (Bethune-Baker, 1910) (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo 18(1): 1-12.

De Vos, R., 1997. The identity of Nyctemera simulatrix Walker, 1864 (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Nyctemerinae). Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo 18(2/3): 205-210.

De Vos, R. & A.L.M. Rutten, 1998. Trekvlinders in 1996 (zevenenvijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 58(2): 17-34.

De Vos, R. & A.L.M. Rutten, 1999. Trekvlinders in 1997 (achtenvijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 59(3): 33-44.

De Vos, R. & K. Cerny, 1999. A review of the Philippine species of the genus Nyctemera Hübner, [1820] with descriptions of new species and subspecies (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Nyctemerinae). Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo 20(2): 133-188.

De Vos, R., 1999. Trekvlinders in 1998 (negenenvijftigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 59(12): 173-185.

Kuchlein, J.H. & R. de Vos, 1999. Geannoteerde naamlijst van de Nederlandse vlinders. Backhuys, Leiden. 302 pp.

De Vos, R., 2000. Trekvlinders in 1999 (zestigste jaarverslag) (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 60(12): 217-230.

Nagel, H. , R. de Vos & F. Post, 2001. Euphyia unangulata opnieuw in Nederland (Lepidoptera: Geometridae). Entomologische Berichten 61(5): 60-62.

Huisman, K.J. & R. de Vos, 2001. Eupithecia inturbata nieuw voor Nederland (Lepidoptera: Geometridae). Entomologische Berichten 61(9): 130-131.

De Vos, R., 2001. Boekbespreking: Axel Hausmann, 2001. The geometrid moths of Europe, Volume 1. Entomologische Berichten 61(10): 151-152.

De Vos, R., 2002. Revision of the Nyctemera evergista group (= subgenus Deilemera Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Arctiinae, Nyctemerini). Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo 23(1/2): 7-32.

Holt, H. ten & R. de Vos, 2002. Mythimna scirpi en Mythimna sicula (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), een complex soortenduo in de Nederlandse fauna. Entomologische Berichten 62(3-4): 90-95.

De Vos, R., 2002. Boekbespreking: A. Maitland Emmet & John R. Langmaid (editors) 2002. The moths and butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 4. Entomologische Berichten 62(6): 172.

De Vos, R., 2003. Trekvlinders in 2000 en recente adventieve vondsten (Lepidoptera). Eenenzestigste jaarverslag. Entomologische Berichten 63(1): 14-20.

De Vos, R., 2003. Boekbespreking: Vladimir Mironov, 2003. The geometrid moths of Europe, Volume 4. Entomologische Berichten 63(6): 167-168.

Groenendijk, D., W. Ellis & R. de Vos, 2003. Prioritaire insecten in Noord-Brabant: macro-nachtvlinders. Vlinderstichting Rapportnummer VS2003.036: 1-9.

De Vos, R. & W.N. Ellis, 2004. Trekvlinders en dwaalgasten in 2001 en recente adventieve vondsten (Lepidoptera). Tweeënzestigste jaarverslag. Entomologische Berichten 64(5): 138-145.

Botosaneanu, L. & R. de Vos, 2004. Two new species of Anisocentropus McLachlan, 1863 from Indonesian New Guinea (Papua) (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae), and a contribution to the knowledge of a third one. Bulletin van het Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen, Entomologie 74: 5-9.

De Vos, R., D. Groenendijk, D. & W.N. Ellis, 2005. Trekvlinders en dwaalgasten in 2002 en recente adventieve vondsten (Lepidoptera). Drieënzestigste jaarverslag. Entomologische berichten 65(6): 158-166.

Botosaneanu, L. & R. de Vos, 2006. A conspicuous new caddisfly species (Trichoptera: Philopotamidae) from Papua (Indonesian New Guinea). Bulletin van het Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen, Entomologie 76: 135-140.

De Vos, R., J. Zwier & D. Groenendijk, 2006. Overzicht van in 2000 waargenomen interessante macronachtvlinders (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 66(1): 7-12.

De Vos, R., 2006. Boekbespreking: Axel Hausmann, 2004. The geometrid moths of Europe, Volume 2. Entomologische Berichten 66(1) 30.

De Vos, R. & G. Helmers, 2006. Protolithosia roseivenata transfered from Lithosiinae (Arctiidae) to Galleriinae (Pyralidae) and synonymized with Ethopia roseilineata (Insecta, Lepidoptera). Aldrovandia 2: 3-5.

De Vos, R., 2007. Revision of the Nyctemera clathratum complex (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 150: 39-54.

Dubatolov, V., R. de Vos & D. Daawia, 2007. Spilaethalida, a new genus for the New Guinean and Australian Spilarctia turbida complex (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae). Euroasian Entomological Journal 6(3): 324-326.

De Vos, R. & H. van Mastrigt, 2007. New Lithosiinae from Papua, Indonesia (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Entomofauna 28(18): 213-240.

De Vos, R., 2007. A new species of Oeonosia from Indonesian New Guinea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Lithosiinae). Entomofauna 28(27): 369-376.

De Vos, R., 2007. The Utetheisa species of the subgenera Pitasila, Atasca and Raanya subg. n. (Insecta, Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). Aldrovandia 3: 31-120.

De Vos, R., W.N. Ellis, D. Groenendijk, F. Post & J. Zwier, 2008. Overzicht van in 2002-2005 waargenomen interessante macronachtvlinders, inclusief de trekvlinders (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 68(5): 158-169.

Zumkehr, P.J. & R. de Vos, 2008. Biologiestudenten in Papua leren van Nederlandse vlinderkenners hun eigen natuur te beschermen. Vlinders 23(3): 14-17.

De Vos, R., 2008. Scoliacma suzannae and S. adriani, two new species from Papua, Indonesia, and S. flava synonymized with S. heringi (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Lithosiinae). Sugapa 3(1): 1-9.

De Vos, R., 2008. Een eenzame beer aan het IJsselmeer. In: EIS-Nederland, 2008. Passie voor kleine beestjes, 33,3 jaar Stichting EIS-Nederland: 62-63.

De Vos, R., 2009. The species of the genus Monosyntaxis Swinhoe from New Guinea, with description of a new species and the transfer of another to a new genus (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Lithosiinae). Sugapa 4(1): 1-13.

De Vos, R. & J. Hyvärinen, 2009. A new Damias species from Biak Island (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Lithosiinae). Sugapa 4(2): 29-33.

De Vos, R., 2010. Two new species of Hyalaethea Butler from Indonesian New Guinea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae, Syntominae). Sugapa 4(3): 79-88.

Ellis, W., D. Groenendijk & R. de Vos, 2010. Schatkaart van de Nederlandse macro's. Vlinders 2010(2): 24-25.

De Vos, R., W. Ellis, D. Groenendijk, F. Post & J. Zwier, 2010. Overzicht van in 2006-2008 waargenomen interessante macrovlinders en trekvlinders (Lepidoptera). Entomologische Berichten 70(3): 83-98.

De Vos, R. & V.V. Dubatolov, 2010. Nyctemerini. In: Dubatolov, V.V., 2010. Tiger-moths of Eurasia (Lepidoptera, Arctiinae). Neue Entomologische Nachrichten 65: 1-106 [11-18].

Pavesi, F., R. de Vos & A Zilli, 2010. Revision of the genus Ommatophora Guenée, 1852 with description of four new species (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Quadrifina 9: 483-510.

De Vos, R., 2011. Koninklijke onderscheiding voor leven lang vlinderen (Jacques Wolschrijn). Entomologische Berichten 71(3): 88.

De Vos, R., 2011. Resultaten van vier recente entomologische reizen naar Papua (Indonesisch Nieuw-Guinea). Entomologische Berichten 71(6): 158-171.

De Vos, R., 2011. Nicetosoma gen. nov., a new genus for the ”Spilosomaniceta group of species East of the Weber Line (Lepidoptera: Erebidae, Arctiinae, Arctiini). Sugapa 5(4): 109-144.

De Vos, R. & D. Suhartawan, 2011. The Spilosoma group of species from New Guinea and adjacent islands (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae: Arctiini). In: D. Telnov, 2011. Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea, Vol. I: 299-333, plates 44-77.

De Vos, R., 2012. Revised generic position of the Palaeosia and Calamidia related species in New Guinea (Erebidae, Arctiinae, Lithosiini). Sugapa 6(4): 107-128.

De Vos, R., 2013. Two new Spilosoma species from Indonesian New Guinea (Erebidae, Arctiinae, Arctiini). Sugapa 7(4): 107-113.

De Vos, R., 2013. Three new Agaristinae species and the first record of Argyrolepidia palaea from Papua, Indonesia (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae, Agaristinae). Sugapa 7(4): 114-123.

Ellis, W.N., Dick Groenendijk, Mathilde Groenendijk, Ties Huigens, Maurice Jansen, Jippe van der Meulen, Erik van Nieukerken en Rob de Vos, 2013. Nachtvlinders belicht, dynamisch, belangrijk, bedreigd. De Vlinderstichting en Werkgroep Vlinderfaunistiek: 162 pp.

De Vos, R. & M.M. van Haren, 2014. A new Spilosoma species found in the Arfak Mountains, Papua Barat, Indonesia and Immetalia mokndoma transfered to Spilosoma (Lepidoptera: Erebidae, Arctiinae, Arctiini). Sugapa 8(3): 83-89.

De Vos, R., 2014. Three taxa from Hulstaert (1924) transfered from Arctiinae (Erebidae) to Lacturidae and Immidae (Lepidoptera) and synonymised. Sugapa 8(3): 73-75.

De Vos, R., 2014. The Monosyntaxis Swinhoe, 1901 complex of sibling species in New Guinea (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae: Lithosiini). In: D. Telnov, 2014. Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea, Vol. 2: 397-405, plates 92-101.

De Vos, 2014. A new Utetheisa species from Papua New Guinea (Lepidoptera: Erebidae, Arctiinae, Arctiini). Sugapa 8(5): 137-140.

Brattström, O., W. Mey, R. de Vos & P.M. Brakefield, 2014. A century old mistake set right: the identities of Mydosama marginata and Mydosama pitana pinned down. Tropical Lepidoptera Research  24(2): 96-101.