Another Swallowtail Butterfly Expedition!

It’s about time—the New World Swallowtail Butterfly project has another expedition up. This is the last batch of McGuire Center specimen images I am collecting for a study on the relationships between morphological variation and geography. This collection provides an excellent record of morphological variation across the distributions of these species.

You may also come across some specimens that look different from the other McGuire Center specimens—their backgrounds are white foam with a white ruler for scale. These images were generously provided from the private collections of dedicated amateur lepidopterists. The specimens come from a hybrid zone between two species—Papilio canadensis, Canadian tiger swallowtail, and Papilio glaucus, Eastern tiger swallowtail. We are interested in understanding whether the hybrid species looks more or less like one of its parent species, an amalgamation of the two, or if it has begun to display morphological characteristics that are completely unique.

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!

butterfly3

Photo: Hannah Owens

Check back when the expedition is complete—we’ll have some exciting preliminary data for you!

 

Hannah Owens, Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Florida

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