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Rienk de Jong

Dr. R. (Rienk) de Jong, Research associate - Biodiversity Discovery, Lepidoptera


Email: rienk.dejong@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)71 56 87 652
Room number: under construction


Education at Free University, Amsterdam. PhD in 1972 on thesis Systematics and biogeographic history of the genus Pyrgus in the Palaearctic Region (Lepidopetra Hesperiidae). 1968-1970 employed by the Foundation Scientific Dune Research, studying food differentiation in the speciose geometrid genus Eupithecia. 1971 until retirement in 2007 employed by Naturalis. Since then affiliated at the museum as Research associate.


Research interest

My research interests focus on the phylogeny (and derived from it, the classification) and biogeography of the butterflies, locally as well as worldwide. The family I am best acquainted with is the Hesperiidae (skippers), a worldwide group with some 3600 species. In addition to revisionary work I have used Hesperiidae and, less so, other butterflies to tackle biogeographic problems in East Africa (mountain forests) and, mainly, Southeast Asia. Such problems include the exchange of biotas between the Asian mainland and Australia since th early Tertiary, the colonization of the Malay Archipelago, and the radiation of the fauna there, in relation to the dramatic geological evolution of the area. The research includes frequent field work, particularly in SE Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, extending to Australia and New Zealand), but also in Africa (Kenya, S Africa, Namibia).

In recent years my interest has partly moved from lower taxonomic level (genus or genus group) with a regional scope to higher taxonomic level and a more worldwide scope: the higher classification, origin, early diversification and paleobiogeography of the butterflies in relation to worldwide geological changes (changing configuration of land and sea). In addition to morphological characters I use DNA sequences in phylogenetic analysis, and in an attempt to apply a molecular clock model for dating speciation events. In connection with calibration of the molecular clock I am interested in fossil butterflies and host plant choice.



Current research topics







Available student projects


Naturalis Repository

Selected publications since 2001

Jong, R. de, 2001. Faunal exchange between Asia and Australia in the Tertiary as evidenced by recent butterflies. In Metcalfe, I., J.M.B. Smith, M. Morwood & I. Davidson (eds), Faunal and Floral Migrations and Evolution in SE Asia- Australasia:133-146. Lisse etc., A.A. Balkema Publishers. 

Jong, R. de, 2003. Are there butterflies with Gondwanan ancestry in the Australian region? Invertebrate Systematics 17: 143-156. 

Jong, R. de, 2004. The higher classification of the Hesperiidae: past, present and future.  The Nature and Insects  39(2):1, 7-10.  [In Japanese] 

Jong, R. de, 2004. Phylogeny and biogeography of the genus Taractrocera Butler, 1870 (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae), an example of Southeast Asian-Australian interchange. Zoologische Mededelingen 78: 383-416. 

Jong, R. de, 2006. Notes on Salanoemia Eliot, 1978, and Isma Distant, 1886 (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae), mainly from Java and Sumatra. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 149: 15-20. 

Jong, R. de, 2006. Revision of the Oriental genus Odontoptilum de Nicéville (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Pyrginae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 149: 145-159. 

Jong, R. de, 2007. Estimating time and space in the evolution of the Lepidoptera. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 150: 319-346. 

Jong, R. de, 2008. Notes on some skippers of the Taractrocera-group (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae) from New Guinea. Zoologische Mededelingen 82: 73-80. 

Jong, R. de & van Achterberg, C., 2007. Global disjunctions and flying insects. In: W. Renema (ed.), Biogeography, Time, and Place: Distributions, Barriers and Islands: 5-44. Springer Verlag. 

Jong, R. de & K. van Dorp, 2006. The African Copper connection. Entomologische Berichten 66: 124-129.  

Jong, R. de & C. G. Treadaway, 2007. Hesperiidae of the Philippine Islands. In: E. Bauer & T. Frankenbach (eds), Butterflies of the World, Supplement 15: 3-72. Goecke & Evers, Keltern.  

Megens, H.-J., C. H. M. van Moorsel, W. H. Piel, N.E. Pierce & R. de Jong, 2004. Tempo of speciation in a butterfly genus from the southeast Asian tropics, inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.  31: 1181-1196.  

Megens, H.-J., W. J. van Nes, C. H. M. van Moorsel, N.E. Pierce & R. de Jong, 2004. Molecular phylogeny of the Oriental butterfly genus Arhopala (Lycaenidae, Theclinae) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear genes.  Systematic Entomology  29:115-131.   

Megens, H.-J., R. de Jong & K. Fiedeler, 2005. Phylogenetic patterns in larval host plant and ant association of Indo-Australian Arhopalini butterflies (Lycaenidae: Theclinae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 84: 225-241. 

Simonsen, Thomas J., Wahlberg, N., Brower, Andrew V.Z., de Jong, Rienk, 2006. Morphology, molecules, and Fritillaries: approaching a stable phylogeny for Argynnini (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Insect Systematics and Evolution 37: 405-418. 

Vane-Wright, R.I. & R. de Jong, 2003. The butterflies of Sulawesi: annotated checklist for a critical island fauna. Zoologische Verhandelingen 343: 3-267. 

Wahlberg, N, Braby, M.F., Brower, A.V.Z., de Jong, R., Lee, M.-M., Nylin, S., Pierce, N.E., Sperling, F.A.H., Vila, R., Warren, A.D., & Zakharov, E., 2005. Synergistic effects of combining morphological and molecular data in resolving the phylogeny of butterflies and skippers. Proceedings Royal Society B 272: 1577-1586.