New World Swallowtail Butterflies from the Field Museum of Natural History
The New World Swallowtail Butterfly project has a new expedition up! As you may remember, I am collecting images of swallowtail butterfly specimens to understand how morphological diversity varies across the New World. Museum specimens provide an excellent record of diversity through time and across geography, and the new expedition is no exception.
These butterflies were imaged during my recent trip to the Field Museum of Natural History. The Field Museum Division of Insects houses over 12 million specimens; their Butterfly and Moth collection has a geographic and taxonomic breadth that complements the previous expedition nicely. In addition to helping with my research, the data you transcribe will be sent back to the Field Museum to incorporate into their specimen database for other researchers to use in the future.
As with the previous Swallowtail expedition, remember that there are two images for each specimen—a front and a back. This is important, because in some cases, the labels in the image have different data written on each side. Thanks for your help, and look closely—some of these specimens provide a unique historical record of biodiversity that has since been lost!
Hannah L. Owens, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate, Florida Museum of Natural History