Being systematic about the unknown: Grid-based schemes could improve butterfly monitoring

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  • April 14, 2016
  • Butterfly monitoring schemes are at the heart of citizen science, with the general public and researchers collaborating to discover how butterfly populations change over time. To develop the concept further, a new paper in the journal Nature Conservation shows how systematically placed, grid-based transects can help schemes by reducing habitat bias. Rapidly increasing in number […]

    Rare Amazonian butterfly named after British national treasure Sir David Attenborough

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  • December 2, 2015
  • A beautiful new Black-eyed Satyr species has become the first butterfly named in honour of the popular naturalist and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough. Although not the first animal to be named after the British national treasure, the butterfly is so rare that it is known only from lowland tropical forests of the upper Amazon […]

    Get to know them faster: Alternative time-efficient way to describe new moth species

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  • November 20, 2015
  • Having collected thousands of moth and butterfly species from across Costa Rica, famous ecologist Daniel Janzen, University of Pennsylvania, and his team were yet to find out many of their names. When they sought help from Dr. Gunnar Brehm, the taxonomist realised he needed too much time to describe species in the framework of an […]

    To be fragrant or not: Why do some male hairstreak butterflies lack scent organs?

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  • September 17, 2015
  • Female butterflies generally choose among male suitors, but in the tropics with hundreds of close relatives living in close proximity, how can they decide which males are the right ones? After all, if she mates with a male of another species, she is unlikely to have surviving offspring. One solution is that males of some […]