From: Peter Smetacek
Date: Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 11:08 PM
Subject: Plagiarism by ZSI officers

The Director
Zoological Survey of India
Alipur Rd, Chetla, August 8, 2014

Kolkata, West Bengal

Re.: Plagiarism of the work of Dr Ian Kitching, Dr Roger Kendrick and Peter
Smetacek by scientists of the Zoological Survey of India.


It is my unfortunate duty to bring to your notice a case of blatant plagiarism of the work of Dr Ian J Kitching
of the Natural History Museum, London, Dr Roger Kendrick of C & R Wildlife, Hong Kong and Peter Smetacek of the
Butterfly Research Centre, Bhimtal, by officers of the Zoological Survey of India.
The matter concerns moths of the family Sphingidae (hawkmoths). In November 2012, we compiled a catalogue of the
hawkmoths of India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal, coining common English names for them. This list and a similar
list of Saturniidae (Emperor moths) was put up on a site devoted to butterflies and moths ( with a
view to soliciting opinions about the common names, prior to publishing the catalogue.
Much to our surprise, we now find that the common names coined by us have been published without attribution by a
team of your workers (Kailash Chandra, Jitendra Kumar, S. Sambath and Bulganin Mitra, (June 2014): A Catalogue of the
Hawkmoths of India (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae), Bionotes 16(2): 37 – 47.) Although much more could be said about
the published catalogue, the list of common names coined by us (
and used without attribution in the abovementioned paper is enough to establish an unambiguous case of plagiarism
by these authors.
As an Indian, I must say I am deeply ashamed by the actions of my countrymen.
I had initiated this project with Dr Kitching, the leading international authority on
Hawkmoths and Dr Kendrick, who has extensive experience in the field. They kindly took out
time from their busy schedules to make the catalogue and we spent many days coining the new common names
to help my countrymen know our fauna better.
We wish to know what you intend to do about this matter.

Jai Hind.
Peter Smetacek
Butterfly Research Centre,
Jones Estate, Bhimtal
263 136 Uttarakhand

Reply from ZSI :

From: Kailash Chandra
Date: Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 7:00 AM
Subject: Re: Plagiarism by ZSI officers
To: Peter Smetacek


Shri Peter Smetacek,
Butterfly Research Centre
Jones Estate, Bhimtal
263136, Uttarkhand

Dear Mr Smetaceck,

Thanks for your mail and observation regarding publication on ‘A Catalogue of the Hawk- Moths
of India’ in “Bionotes’’ Vol. 16 (2), June 2014 by K. Chandra, Jitendra Kumar, S. Sambath and
Bulganin Mitra.

1- It is stated the above manuscript has been compiled on the basis of the work started
in 2010, since then data on all India species of hawk moths have been compiled and collated.
The distribution of all the species has also been provided.

2- The major (six) publications of Mr Smetaceck, who is major worker on Moths of India
have been attributed in the text and the references.

3. Although, in the first para of the introduction the reference of Kitching & Cardiou
(2000) was
quoted that “These common names are based on the characteristics ------( Kitching and
Cardiou, 2000).

3- This checklist /catalogue is the compilation of work and authors have not claimed
anywhere that they have created the common names of all the species included in the

authors name and their addresses , the list of species and common names with a mark before the
list (names marked with an * are existing common names). Authors could not find anywhere that
the list is uploaded with a view to solicit the opinions about the common names.

5- It is further stated that intention to publish a complete list of hawk-moths of India
along with their distribution, along with other details was not to suppress the wonderful work
carried out by Mr Smetaceck, which happened unintentionally for which we feel sorry and the
author will immediately send the corrigendum to BIONOTES that the common names published in
the said paper were obtained from Ian J. Kitching, Roger Kendrick and Peter Smetacek ( and other sources.
All the authors have high regards to these experts on Lepidoptera and by no means wish to hurt
their feelings, which happened due to inclusion of common names available in their

With regards