A recent article on Slate.com discusses the value of collecting butterflies for natural history collections. “The Most Favored Insect” by Andrew Warren of the Florida Museum of Natural History makes a case for why butterfly collecting is still relevant in modern science.
Several new species of butterflies were recently identified because of genetic analysis. Warren writes, “new species remain to be discovered even among the best-studied faunas, and that ongoing collecting coupled with the study of museum collections continues to play an important role in revealing biodiversity. While specimens of all three of these new butterfly species existed in museum collections before they were formally recognized as new, all of them were initially revealed as unique through differences found in recently collected material.”