New butterfly species named for David Attenborough

A new species of butterfly has been discovered in the Amazon Basin, which includes a 310 mile stretch of the Amazon River that runs through the northern part of Brazil, Columbia and Venezuela. Andrew Neild, an associate at the Natural History Museum in London, England is the lead author of the butterfly study. The team of researchers was, according to Neild, "deeply influenced and inspired by Sir David's fascinating and informative documentaries. Other animals and plants have previously been dedicated to Sir David, but it makes us happy and proud to be the first to dedicate a butterfly species in his name”. Thus, the new butterfly has been named the David Attenborough butterfly.

David Attenborough has spent his life studying and reporting on the world’s creatures. He is the host and narrator of television series “Life” and “Plant Earth” produced by the BBC. He is the president of the Butterfly Conservation in England, which is the largest insect conservation association in the world.

The researchers conducted their study of the butterfly and noticed that it had a wing configuration, shape and markings that were not typical of butterflies in general. It was their opinion that the new butterfly belonged to a separate genus, which was confirmed by DNA testing. Shinichi Nakahara, from the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, and co-author of the study stated, "It was a surprise for us that DNA data supported inclusion of this new species in the existing genus, Euptychia, since this species lacked a distinctive structural character which was considered to be shared by all members of the genus."


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