Florida Museum of Natural History
Graduate Student Research
at the McGuire Center
There are currently thirteen graduate students who are affiliated with the McGuire Center
and whose academic advisors work here. Without these students' work as research and
teaching assistants and their good humor, the McGuire Center would be a very differ-
ent place. We have decided to dedicate the pages of this issue to this diverse group of
students, joining us from locations as far as Jamaica, Ecuador, Colombia, Kentucky,
Arizona, and Florida.
Graduate Student Profiles
Delano S. Lewis
Academic advisor: Dr. Thomas Emmel
Delano S. Lewis came to the University of
Florida from Jamaica in 2004 after meeting
McGuire Center Director, Dr. Thomas C.
Emmel. The current focus of his research
is the taxonomy and systematics of
Neotropical swallowtail butterflies.
For his Master's work, Delano looked into
the day-flying colorful geometrid moths of
the genus Cyllopoda. He recently published
his M.S. thesis alongside Dr. Charles
Covell (his M.S. advisor) and is currently
pursuing his Ph.D. Lewis is concentrating
on the phylogeny and revision of the genus
Heraclides: a group of Neotropical citrus-
feeding swallowtails. "This work," he
says, "seeks to comprehensively assess the
known information about this economically
important group of butterflies, and
investigate the relationships be \ Lw n hlem.
Apart from relatively few imcmibcii of
this buililllIh i ouil little is known of the
biology lld habits of the majority of these
The significance of Lewis's work has much
to do with the recent introduction of an
Asian Citrus-feeding lime swallowtail to
the West Indies, and its spread throughout
the Caribbean. "It becomes crucial to
understand the effect this butterfly will
have on the ecology of native
fauna," explains Lewis, who tela niis or collection at- ui
thinks that the lime swallowtail tHis' researchlhe grp
a s L I will eventually reach Florida. feedinswa ailbtteflies.
OF NATURAL HISTORY.
From the editor:
Following last year's issue devoted
to field workby the staff, the current
issue focuses on graduate students.
Their professional development
is an essential part of the future
of Lepidoptera conservation and
2009-2010 has been an exciting
year for us, with some major
collections, grants, and awards
received by the center. Also, new
faculty and staff came aboard. It
was also a sad year, since we lost
one of our colleagues.
UF McGuire Center for
Lepidoptera and Biodiversity
University of Florida
Florida Museum of Natural History
Gainesville, FL 32611
for general information
phone (352) 392-5894
McGuire Center News
ISSN # 1938-3029
Christine M. Eliazar
Thomas C. Emmel
Jaret C. Daniels
Jacqueline Y. Miller
Chad T. Douglas
contact: asourakov d-flmnh.ufl.edu
McGuire Center Staff
Atwater, Montana: Graduate Asst.
Barszczak, Lukasz: Tech. Research Asst.
Bliss, Andrew: Tech. Research Asst.
Checa, Maria Fernanda: Graduate Asst.
Covell, Charles, Ph.D.: Visiting Scientist & Curator
Daniels, Jaret, Ph.D.: Asst. Prof & Asst. Curator
Douglas, Chad: Editorial Asst.
Eliazar, Christine: Administrative Asst.
Emmel, Thomas, Ph.D.: Center Director
Encabo, Galileo: Tech. Research Asst.
Gallice, Geoff: Graduate Asst.
Heppner, John, Ph.D.: Curator
Lane, Katrina: Tech. Research Asst.
Lehnert, Matthew: Graduate Asst.
Lewis, Delano: Graduate Asst.
Lukhtanov, Vladimir, Ph.D.: Visiting Scientist
Matthews Lott, Deborah, Ph.D.: Research Associate
Maxwell, Megan: Tech. Research Asst.
Miller, Jacqueline, Ph.D.: Curator & Adjunct Prof
Ortiz, Elena: Graduate Asst.
Padr6n Pablo Sebastian: Graduate Asst.
Park, K.T., Ph.D.: Visiting Scientist & Curator
Paris, Thomson: Grad. Research Asst.
Pence, Akers, Ph.D.: Research Associate
Salcedo, Christian: Graduate Asst.
Sanchez, Stephanie: BFCI Program Coordinator
Saunders, Jonathan: Graduate Asst.
Schlachta, James: Constr. Coord. & Asst. Director
Segebarth, Ian: Tech. Research Asst.
Segebarth, Craig: Tech. Research Asst.
Standridge, Matthew: Tech. Research Asst.
Sourakov, Andrei, Ph.D.: Collections Coordinator
Thom, Matthew: Graduate Asst.
Warren, Andrew, Ph.D.: Collection Manager
Whelan, John Court: Graduate Asst.
Willmott, Keith, Ph.D.: Asst. Curator
Wright, Natasha: Tech. Research Asst.
Xiao, Lei, Ph. D. Research Associate
Zagvazdina, Nina: Tech. Research Asst.
2 McGuire Center News, Issue 4, April 2010
Maria Fernanda Checa
Academic advisor: Dr. Keith Willmott
Maria Checa is a research assistant with the
"Butterflies of Ecuador" project, headed by
Keith Willmott. Her general interests are
focused in determining population trends
in abundance and diversity of butterfly
communities in highly threatened and
diverse habitats, such as wet and dry forests
of western Ecuador and Amazonia.
According to Checa, the data derived from
her studies and "Butterflies of Ecuador"
could potentially fill some important gaps
in our knowledge of tropical Andean
butterflies -- the most diverse fauna
worldwide -- helping to preserve them.
Such data will be used to determine the
IUCN conservationcategories ofbutterflies,
predict impacts of global climate change
on butterfly populations, and address other
Currently, Checa is carrying out her
Master's thesis: "Temporal and spatial
patterns of diversity and abundance in
butterfly communities attracted to baits: a
study case in an Ecuadorian dry forest."
Very few ecological studies of insects have
been done in tropical dry forests, a habitat
characterized by high levels of endemism
and facing tremendous risks of extinction.
"The goal of this study," says Checa,
"is to provide a better understanding of
how seasonal climatic changes affect the
Academic advisor: Dr. Thomas Emmel
Matthew Lehnert is currently a Ph.D.
candidate at the Entomology and
Nematology Department. When he first
came to UF, he worked with the Homerus
Swallowtail, Papilio homers, in the
Cockpit Country of Jamaica. The focus
of this M.S. research was to estimate the
size of an under-studied population of this
endangered butterfly. "For my Ph.D.,"
explains Lehnert, "I am currently working
with the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio
glaucus. I am trying to determine if two
subspecies of tiger swallowtail potentially
hybridize in the Northern-Florida Suture
Zone (an area where multiple hybrid zones
overlap one another)." He has sampled Tiger
Swallowtails from Tennessee, Alabama,
Mississippi, Georgia, and throughout
Florida to compare morphological
(morphometrics and color), ecological
(ovipositionpreference, larval survivability)
and genetic (microsatellite) characters
within and between populations.
According to Lehnert, llc southern
subspecies has been relatively unstudied,
structure and composition of butterfly
communities, and how microhabitat alters
In addition to her primary work, Checa
is researching the relationship between
several vegetation variables and butterfly
diversity in order to predict the impacts of
Maria eemnanda Checa surveying a butterfly bait trap
and this is the first in-depth investigation
into its evolutionary biology. In addition,
there have been no previously published
papers suggesting that these subspecies'
population biology may correlate to the
formation of the suture zone, which was
formed due to changing sea levels during the
Pleistocene. When sea levels receded, the
populations came into secondary contact,
forming hybrid zones. "I have applied
a new method in my work to accurately
quantify color of butterfly wings," says
Lehnert, "and the current research should
yield multiple publications that will provide
detailed insight of these unique populations
in the southeastern US."
Matthew Lehnert, who is planning on
graduating this semester, has already
published two papers regarding the
endangered Homerus Swallowtail. He
won the University .'' I k
of Florida Graduate
award this year, and
ultimately hopes to
become a professor. -
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.
Graduate Student Profiles continued from p.1
Support the McGuire Center
The McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and
Biodiversity relies upon the generosity of private
donors to build and enhance its collections,
educational outreach efforts and international
research programs. Every gift is important and
contributes to our success.
Private Gifts are accepted and are tax-
deductible; The Monarch Society: Donors who
commit $10,000 to this fund receive permanent
recognition in the McGuire Center and are invited
to participate in special events; For additional
information about donation opportunities within
the McGuire Center and the Florida Museum of
Natural History, please contact Joshua McCoy,
Director of Development, at (352) 273-2087 or
Valerie C. McManus
Academic advisor: Dr. Jaret Daniels
Valerie McManus graduated from the
University of Florida in August 2009, with
her Master's Degree of Science.
Valerie's thesis was on the eastern pygmy
blue butterfly (Brephidium pseudofea)
-- a small butterfly (only reaching 8 to
10 mm) that inhabits salt marshes that
are periodically inundated by high tides.
This hostile environment poses serious
challenges for the eggs, caterpillars and
pupae of this butterfly, including tidal
illlndll ion llul inihl-l block bicjlhiin and
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|of how caterpillars are able to do this. i
In August, McManus's career course
changed. She completed an internship in the
oKeys at a marine mammal facility workingCl
with dolphins and sea lions. Currently, she
is completing an internship at the Miami
SSeaquarium, working with dolphins and
phl SlOIO,_I1j IclIilJiC ICI llCS lOulndlhIoIl'0hl2
N Ic!JLlnll h ICSCdllCh SLlggCscId 'IlIICglICS
of how caterpillars aro be a dolphin this.
In August, McManus's career course
changed. She completed an internship ends this August.
Keys at a marine mammal facility working
with dolphins and sea lions. Currently, she
is completing an internship at the Miami
Seaquarium, working with dolphins and
orcas. She hopes to be a dolphin trainer
after her internship ends this August.
The McGuire Center receives
many visiting scientists This
year, Dr Jorge Llorente and his
wife Jimena Castro (photo on
the nght) visited from the Museo
de Zoologla, UN AM, Mexico,
and worked for three months
in the collections, studying
dismorplhine butterflies While
at the Center, they were hosted
by Jackle Miller Also, Dr
Vladimir Lukhtanov visited
from the Zoological Institute,
St Petersburg, Russia He spent
one month at the Center curatini
lycaemd butterflies as part I
the NSF-funded project He was
hosted byAndrei Sourakov
Graduate Student Profiles continued from p.1, 2
Academic advisor: Dr. Keith Willmott
"I am working on the molecular systematics
of the butterfly tribe Preponini," says Elena
Ortiz. "These colorful butterflies are found
only in the neotropics where the highest
species-richness occurs in the Amazon
basin. Preponine butterflies fly high in
the forest canopy and are only seen when
they descend to feed on decaying organic
The tribe Preponini has been the subject
of much taxonomic research, but more
insight into their phylogenetic relationships
is needed in order to examine topics such
as the origins of bright wing coloration
(likely involved in sexual signaling and
mimicry) and their global conservation
status (currently unknown despite the fact
that they are highly sought by collectors).
Academic advisor: Dr. Keith Willmott
Last summer and over Christmas, SebastiAn
Padr6n traveled to Ecuador and spent many
days in the field collecting butterflies for
The Neotropics are known for their
high butterfly diversity, but despite this
fact, there remain many genera that
have been historically poorly studied.
Altopedaliodes and Neopedaliodes are
two Neotropical genera belonging to the
subtribe Pronophilina, which fly at the
highest altitudes in the Andes. Because
these taxa occur in isolated places in high
mountains, they are difficult to catch and
they are thus poorly represented in most
collections. Padr6n has three main goals.
First is generic revision: according to him,
"Altopedaliodes has never been thoroughly
revised, and molecular sequence data have
never been used to assist in the species-
level classification of any pronophiline
genus." SebastiAn therefore intends to use
morphological and genetic characters to
revise the taxonomy of both genera.
Second, Padr6n intends to IocuL, on
generic phylogeny. Since theie muw-
Elena Ortiz in the McGuire collections and (left) one
of the subjects of her research, Agras narcissus.
"My research goals are to clarify the
group's taxonomy and hopefully facilitate
future conservation studies on the group,"
Ortiz adds. "I plan to produce the first
species-level molecular phylogeny for
Preponini, and, using molecular sequence
data, unravel certain species complexes
and reveal the true potential diversity of
few published evolutionary studies at the
species-level of any pronophiline genera
to date, he reasons that such studies are
needed to clarify the generic classification
and species limits. They can also be
useful in biogeographic studies. The
third objective of SebastiAn's research is
conservation of the species that he works
with. "These two genera inhabit the very
narrow ecotone between the high elevation
forests and paramo grassland. In addition,
a number of species are known from very
restricted ranges, some from only a single
site," he says. "They therefore have small
global distributions, which are likely to
be significantly affected by future climate
Sebastian Padr6n in Ecuador.
McGuire Center News, Issue 4, April 2010 3
. f I ~
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Graduate Student Profiles continued from p.1-3
Christian Salcedo joined the McGuire Center community through
Dr. Thomas C. Emmel, who began his application process when
Salcedo was still living in his home country, Colombia. Now, as part
of his research assistant duties, Christian helps with the curation of
Heliconius butterflies, which are the subject of his research.
"I study a group of butterflies that is very diverse and
widespread in the tropics, so, in the broad sense, understanding
the mechanisms that originated and sustain groups like this
is very important," Salcedo says. He specifically studies the
roosting behavior that Heliconius butterflies express at night -
a behavior which, until now, has gone unexplained. According
to Salcedo, this behavior is thought to be important in their
success. "Some of the species in the genus roost gregariously
at night, so I'm documenting every possible detail about this
behavior," he explains.
For Christian Salcedo, working with the McGuire Center is
a dream come true. "I was free to study under any research
project I liked. This is my hobby, my passion...and I only
hope I can keep doing this." When asked about his career
plans, Salcedo says: "Being in the field for several months
has connected me to the forest in a way I can't explain with
words," evoking the wonder of his research experience. Open
to wherever his studies take him, Salcedo envisions himself
"...In a University, in a Museum, in a field station in the
middle of the Amazon, etc." It hardly matters, as long as he
can be near the butterflies he studies and the scientists who
share his fervor.
Academic advisors: Drs. Thomas C. Emmel and Jaret
Court \\lllnl iS a dociou l Stlid in in the
EcolotIliins Emoinoloi' ',atldiua program.
A pISSion 1oi biodil Si\i consiiivation,
Sutainiiblek ccoLoliiis. a id ilK natural
\old ld l ud Coirl to 1 iill o ilin Intolci
pio'_,1in \\ th lsi helip of his ad\ iSOiS and a
iiinbci of faculhi and Sl all fioI ihK Florida
Mis'iciiiiolf Njtiiial Hision a ind Dcpartment
of Entomology and Nematology.
Having completed his M. S. degree at UF in
August 2008, he currently pursues his Ph.D.
and continues his studies of butterfly farms
as biological research stations. Building
on his M.S. Thesis, which studied adult
butterfly abundance, larval predation rates
and egg parasitism at Butterfly Farming
operations in Florida and Costa Rica, he
is now finalizing the design of a series of
experiments aimed at improving butterfly
farming efficacy, while also looking at key
scientific questions regarding larval feeding
preferences, parasitoid behavior and
herbivore competition among Lepidoptera.
Recognizing our volunteers
Volunteers daily contribute to research and collections-related
activities at the McGuire Center: Jane Blanchard: curated
Neotropical Pieridae; St6phanie Borios: databased specimen
records for Dismorphiina; Jenny Carr: databased specimen records
for Neotropical Pieridae and curated Ithomiinae; Julia Robinson
Willmott: worked in the field in Ecuador; lan Segebarth: databased
Ecuadorian butterflies; Lei Xiao: assisted in molecular systematics
projects on Ecuadorian butterflies; Michael McCowan: curated
Papua-New Guinea moths; Fabiola Martinez, Pat Bowen, Larry
sing ceremony on the trip to Papua New Guinea.
Court is also involved in several side
projects with ecological and conservation
implications. He is involved in a study
on butterfly roadway mortality in Florida
in an effort to make comparisons between
seasons and form inferences about roadway
effects on migratory species that often cross
these roadways during their migration.
These data will also be used to estimate
the implications of expanding roadways on
butterflies as urban populations spread into
Michael McCowan sorted
34,000 field-pinned moths
from Papua New Guinea
to a species level without
any prior knowledge of
On a more applied side of ecotourism,
Court is the General Manager of Expedition
Travel, an ecotourism company that leads
tours in cooperation with the Florida
Museum of Natural History and the
McGuire Center. With an ever-increasing
interest in ecotourism to places like Costa
Rica (for bird and butterfly watching)
and Mexico (to witness the overwintering
Monarch butterflies), eco-minded travelers
are joining tours with the Florida Museum
and Expedition Travel in record numbers,
with nearly one-hundred having already
traveled with him this year alone.
Court is an avid photographer, who also
takes video to document his travels. Armed
with dozens of hours of rare, high definition
footage and thousands of still photos, taken
in localities such as Papua New Guinea, the
Galapagos Islands and Madagascar, Court
is assembling movies and slide shows for
display in the Florida Museum of Natural
History and McGuire Center as a means to
portray the world's magnificentbiodiversity
and to highlight areas of conservation
priority to the public.
Reeves, Alexandra Sourakov, Emily Miller, Cassandra
Romero, Chris Simeur, Andrew Bliss, Kang Li, Laura
DiGruttolo, Lindsey Anderson, Lesleyanne Drake, Sonal
Dholakia, Marsha Belgrade, Charissa Faire, Amy Stafford,
Sandra Lessl, Hava Stephens, Vassi Papastavros, Katrina
Lane, Sarah Lindenblad, Rachel Grainer and Ying Liu:
labeled, accessioned and prepared specimens; Kristin Rossetti,
Darrel Anthony: volunteered in the library; Bob Eisele: worked
on Argentinian butterflies; Mark Simon: curated nymphalid
butterflies; David Auth: curated and databased moths. Thanks!!!
McGuire Center News, Issue 4, April 2010 5
Academic advisor: Dr. Thomas C. Emmel
Graduate Student Profiles
continued from p.1-3, 5
Ma.lrrllh Trager, Ph.D.
,., .. .., ..I ... Dr. Jaret Daniels
Matthew Trager, a recently graduated
student, has spent many hours studying the
mutualistic relationship between Miami
Blue butterflies and ants.
In the system Trager was studying, ants of
several species tend the butterfly larvae.
In order to attract and retain their ant
guards, the larvae elicit ant attention with
chlimical siM'iuls. and secrete a sugar-rich
solution flioin a specialized gland that
the ants eat. "I found that at least 19 ant
species will tend Miami Blue larvae and
no ants regularly attacked the caterpillars,"
says Trager. "I focused my study on several
aspects of the relationship between the
most common ant species in this system,
Camponotus floridanus, and multiple life
stages of Miami Blue butterflies." In order
to examine the effects of ant-tending on
larval growth and the subsequent effects for
adult butterfly reproductive performance,
Trager conducted a series of experiments.
With a related ant-lycaenid system, he
evaluated the effects of experimental
nutrient limitation on the probability that
ants would tend nectar-secreting larvae. He
also studied the signaling system by which
lycaenid larvae attract ant protectors,
particularly the responses of larvae and
ants to simulated predator attack. Finally,
he studied the effects of ant presence on
Academic advisor: Dr. Andrei Sourakov
Much of Thomson's research is rooted in
comparing Lepidoptera populations and
their predators in an urban-to-rural gradient.
"Butterflies in south Florida are declining,
even in the natural areas" says Thomson.
"The areas that are yielding higher butterfly
diversity are, surprisingly, in urban
landscapes." Thomson set out to explore
a possible cause for this disparity, which,
some think, could be exotic predators or
parasitoids: Urban areas might have fewer
of these predators.
The decline of south Florida's butterflies
has raised a number of questions. "First,"
says Thomson, "what parasitoids and
predators might be attacking butterfly
larvae in the region? Which of them are
native, and hence part of the natural balance
of life, and which are exotic? Second, what
are the effects of urbanization on butterflies
and their predators? Last, what is the
6 !L ;..i. Center News, Issue 4, April 2010
oviposition preference of female Miami
Matthew Trager successfully defended his
dissertation in fall 2009 and graduated with
his Ph.D. He already published the first
chapter of his dissertation.
Tachinid par .,. ,.I
examples ol M... ,..
Paris' research i. -
biodiversity of ecologically deficient areas
compared to that of managed state parks
and wildlife refuges?"
The goal of Thomson's research is to
answer these questions. Thomson Paris is
currently pursuing his M.S. degree and is
hoping to eventually enroll into the Ph.D.
program at UF. During his Ph.D. program,
he also hopes to be involved in teaching,
and research in the Third World.
UF Teaching Performed by the
McGuire Center's Staff in 2009-10
Biology of Lepidoptera (ENY), Instructors:
Keith Willmott and Andrei Sourakov
Research Planning and Experimental Design
(ENY), Instructor: Matthew Trager
Insect Biogeography (ENY), Instructor: Keith
Lepidoptera Biology honors (IDH), taught
at the McGuire Center by James Nation and
visiting speakers (e.g., Jackie Miller, Andrei
Grant Writing (ALS) Instructor: Jaret Daniels
Scientific Illustration (IDS, individual studies),
Instructor: Andrei Sourakov
Advanced Research (ENY, individual studies),
Instructors: Jaret Daniels, Thomas Emmel,
Keith Willmott, Jackie Miller, Andrei Sourakov
Ecological Genetics (ENY, individual studies),
Instructors: Thomas Emmel, Keith Willmott
Select conferences, field work
and other news in 2009-2010
Deborah Matthews, Jackie Miller and
Christian Salcedo presented at Lepidopterists'
Society annual meeting in Chetumal, Mexico;
they also conducted field work in Honduras;
Christian spent summer working in Panama.
Geoff Gallice conducted field work at Shuar
Indian village in Morona Santiago, Ecuador.
John Heppner conducted field work in Vietnam,
Thailand, and Peru.
Maria Checa received an award for her poster
at the Conference of Conservation Science,
Cambridge, UK; she also was awarded a Sigma
Xi research grant.
Keith Willmott conducted field work in Ecuador
and visited the British Museum; he received
the Jack Wessel Excellence Award for Assistant
Professors; he was awarded NSF-REU grant.
Andrei Sourakov conducted a research project in
Andrew Warren conducted field work in South
Dakota, Wyoming, and Mexico, and started
working in his new capacity of a collections
manager at the McGuire Center.
Jackie Miller was elected Honorary Life
Member of the Lepidopterists' Society; she also
conducted field work on Cat Island, Bahamas.
Charlie Covell conducted field work in Panama
and Ecuador, and presented at the meeting of
Ohio Lepidopterists' Society.
K T. Park was nominated as a vice president
of the Korean Academy of Science and
Jaret Daniels and Thomas Emmel received
many grants and awards, including an NSF
grant jointly with Betty Dunckel from the
Florida Museum Center for Informal Science
Jackie Miller, Charlie Covell, Andrew Warren,
and Andrei Sourakov received grants for their
work from the Museum's Associates.
Keith Willmott and Andrei Sourakov were
awarded an NSF-BRC grant for collections.
Recent Publications (2009-2010)
Austin G. T. and A. D. Warren. 2009. New looks at and for Onespa, Buzyges, and
I (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae), with new combinations and
descriptions of a new genus and six new species. Insecta Mundi 0089: 1-55.
Briscoe, A. D., S. M. Bybee, G. D. Bernard, F. Yuan, M. P Sison-Mangus, R. D.
Reed, A. D. Warren, J. Llorente-Bousquets & C.-C. Chiao. 2010. Positive
selection of a duplicated UV-sensitive visual pigment coincides with wing
pigment evolution in Heliconius butterflies. Proceedings of the National
Academy ofSciences doi:10.1073/pnas.0910085107
Bruna, E. M., I. J. Fiske and M. D. Trager. 2009. Evaluating the effect of habitat
fragmentation on plant populations: is what we know demographically
irrelevant? Journal of Vegetation Science 20: 569-576.
Checa, M. F., A. Barragan, J. Rodriguez and M. Christman. 2009. Temporal
abundance patterns of butterfly communities (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in
the Ecuadorian Amazonia and their relationship with climate. Annales de la
Societe Entomologique de France 45(4): 470-486.
Covell, C.V. Jr. 2009. Book review: Moth Catcher: An Evolutionist's
J.., IIi~i...ii Canyon and Pass. By Michael M. Collins. J. Lepid. Soc.
63 (1): 58.
Covell, C.V. Jr., J. M. Marcus and B. D. Marcus 2009. KY Butterfly Net: An
interactive web database to facilitate Lepidoptera research and education
in Kentucky. J. Lepid. Soc. 63 (4): 209 213.
Elias, M., Z. Gompert, C. Jiggins, and K. R. Willmott. 2009. Phylogenetic
community ecology needs to take positive interactions into account: Insights
from colourful butterflies. Communicative & Integrative Biology 2(2): 113-
Greeney, H. F. & A. D. Warren. 2009. The immature stages and shelter building
behavior of Falgajeconia ombra Evans, 1955 in eastern Ecuador (Lepidoptera,
Hesperiidae, Hesperiinae). Journal ofInsect Science 9:33, 10pp.
Greeney, H. F & A. D. Warren. 2009. The life history and shelter building behavior
of Vettius coryna coryna Hewitson, 1866 in Eastern Ecuador (Lepidoptera,
Hesperiidae, Hesperiinae). Journal ofInsect Science 9:32, 9pp.
Hall, J. P W. and K. R. Willmott. 2009. Two new species ofEuselasia (Riodinidae:
Euselasiinae) from western Ecuador. Tropical Lepidoptera Research, 19(1):
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Notes on Vietnam moths, 6. Pachynoa thoosahs in Vietnam
(Lepidoptera: Pyralidae: Pyraustinae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville)
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Notes on Vietnam moths, 7. Dudgeonea leucosticta in Vietnam
(Lepidoptera: Dudgeoneidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(1):25-26.
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Notes on Vietnam moths, 8. Genus Ramadasa (Lepidoptera:
Noctuidae: Bagisarinae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(1):27-28.
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Guatemala moth notes, 1. A new Sericostola sedge moth
(Lepidoptera: Glyphipterigidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(1):29-
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Lepidoptera of Thomas Say's American Entomology, 1817-
1828. Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(2):65-99.
Heppner, J.B. 2009. A new Zodia metalmark moth from Peru (Lepidoptera:
Choreutidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(2):101-103.
Heppner, J.B. 2009. AnewAtteva moth from Peru, with notes onAtteva numeratrix
from Brazil (Lepidoptera: Attevidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville)
Heppner, J.B. 2009. A new (- .. moth from Venezuela (Lepidoptera:
Glyphipterigidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(2):113-114.
Heppner, J.B. 2009. A new (- .. moth from Colombia (Lepidoptera:
Glyphipterigidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(2):115-116.
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Florida Lepidoptera notes, 7. Grapholta fana in Florida
(Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(2):117-118.
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Florida Lepidoptera notes, 8. Gretchena concitatricana in
Florida (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). LepidopteraNovae (Gainesville) 2(2):119-
Heppner, J.B. 2009. A new Brachodes moth from Hainan Island, China
(Lepidoptera: Brachodidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(2):121-124.
Heppner, J.B. 2009. A new Atteva moth from Ecuador, with notes on Atteva zebra
from Panama (Lepidoptera: Attevidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville)
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Lepidoptera Expedition to Malawi 2009. Lepidoptera Novae
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Panama moth notes, 2. Morphological features ofAtteva zebra
(Lepidoptera: Attevidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(3):175-177.
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Viviparity in Ochyrotica plume moths from Vietnam
(Lepidoptera: Pterophoridae: Ochyroticinae). LepidopteraNovae (Gainesville)
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Review of viviparity in Lepidoptera.. Lepidoptera Novae
Heppner, J.B. 2009. Synoptic list of Lepidoptera pests in Florida. Lepidoptera
Novae (Gainesville) 2(4): 195-275.
Heppner, J.B. and D.R. Davis. 2009. Guatemala moth notes, 2. Anew Neopostega
from Guatemala (Lepidoptera: Opostegidae). LepidopteraNovae (Gainesville)
Heppner, J.B. and K.T. Park. 2009. Genus Thubana Walker in Indonesia, with
descriptions of four new species (Lepidoptera: Lecithoceridae) and a world
catalog of the genus. Entomological Science (Tokyo) 12(2):314-323.
Heppner, J.B., Vergara-Cobian, C.E. and M. Narrea-Cango. 2009. Cydia tonosticha
in Peru (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Lepidoptera Novae (Gainesville) 2(1):45-
Janzen, D.J., W. Hallwachs, + ... + J. Y. Miller, + .. + K. R. Willmott, + 42
authors. 2009. Integration of DNA barcoding into an ongoing inventory of
complex tropical biodiversity. Molecular Ecology Resources 9 (Suppl. 1),
Kim, M.Y. and K.T. Park. 2009. A Taxonomic Review of the genus Coleophora
Hfibner (Lepidoptera, Coleophoridae) in Korea. J. Asia Pacific Entomol. 12:
Matthews, D.L. (in press). A new species of Hellnsia from the Southeastern
United States (Lepidoptera: Pterophoridae). Bulletin of the ,A i. Museum
Matthews, D.L. 2009. The sundew plume moth, Buckleria parvulus (Barnes &
Lindsey). Southern Lepidopterists 'News 31(2): 74-77.
Miller, J. Y. 2009. Obituary, Lee Denmar Miller, June 1, 1935-April5, 2008.
Southern Lepidopterists'News, vol. 31 (2): 72-73.
MillerY. J. and A. Sourakov. 2009. Some observations onAmauta cacicaprocera
(Boisdouval) (Castniidae: Castniinae) in Costa Rica. Tropical Lepidoptera
Research 19(2): 113-114.
Opler, PA. and A.D. Warren. 2009. Euphilotes stanfordorum Paul A. Opler
and Andrew D. Warren, new species, pp. 125-126, 132. In: Fisher, M.
S. The Butterflies of Colorado. Riodinidae and Lycaenidae -Part 4. The
Metalmarks, Coppers, Hairstreaks and Blues. Lepidoptera of North America
7.4.Contributions of the C.P Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity,
Colorado State University v + 205pp.
Park, H.J., I.J. Park, S.Y. Lee, K.S. Han, C.Y. Yang, K.S. Boo, K.T. Park, J.W.
Lee, S.W. Cho. 2008. Molecular identification ofAdoxophyes orana complex
(Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in Korea and Japan. J. Asia-Pacific Entomol. 11:
Park, K.T. 2009. Two new species of the genus Tisis Walker and
Gozmany (Lepidoptera, Lecithoceridae) from Thailand. TropicalLepidoptera
Research 19(1): 1-3.
Park, K.T. and E.M. Ji. 2009. A revision of the genus Coproptila Snellen
(Lepidoptera, Lecithoceridae), with description of a new species. Entomol.
Park, K.T. 2009. First record of Thubana species in the Philippines (Lepidoptera,
Lecithoceridae), with description of two new species. J. Asia-Pacific Entomol.
Park, K.T. and J.B. Heppner. 2009. Genus Thubana Walker in Java and Sumatra,
with four new species (Lepidoptera, Lecithoceridae) and a world catalog of
the genus. Entomol. Sciences 12: 314-323.
Park, K.T. 2009. Genus Lecithocera of Thailand (IV): Description of three new
species and a little known species (Lepidoptera, Lecithoceridae). Zootaxa
Park, K.T. and C. Wu. 2009. Notes on five little known genera of Lecithoceridae
(Lepidoptera), with descriptions ofthree new species. J. Asia-Pacific Entomol.
Reid, M. and A.D. Warren. 2009. A new grass skipper for Texas and the United
States: Mnasilus allubita (Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae: Moncini). News of the
Lepidopterists 'Society 51(4):115-117.
McGuire Center News, Issue 4, April 2010 7
Recent Publications continued from p. 7.
Sohn, J.C., K.T. Park, S.K. Lee, and S.W. Cho. 2009. Ataxonomic review of the
genus Batrachedra (Lepidoptera, Gelechioidea, Batrachedridae) in Korea. J.
Asia-PacificEntomol. 12- 101-105.
Sourakov, A. 2009. On the immature stages of citrus-feeding butterflies of
Hispaniola. TropicalLepidoptera Research 19(2): 115-117.
Sourakov, A. 2009. Notes on the biology of the Gulf Fritillary Agrauis vanllae
(Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in north-central Florida. J. Lepidopterists'
Society 63(2) 127.
Sourakov, A. 2009. Direct competition for nectar in some Patagonian butterflies.
News ofLepidopterists 'Society 51(1): 14-15.
Sourakov, A. 2009. On polyphenism of Eurema daira in Florida. News of
Lepidoptersts 'Society 51(1): 38-40.
Sourakov, A. 2009. Book Revie' .... of the Cayman Islands (2008).
Aslew R. R. and PA. van B. Safford. Tropical Lepidoptera Research 19(1):
Sourakov, A. 2009. Viceroy 1.nikill Limenitis archippus (Lepidoptera:
Nymphalidae). Featured Creatures Website, University of Florida. Publication
Number: Ii V,
S1.1 ) i) I i i.i I,,.(. \( (*.llJr.andS.T.O'Keefe.2010.Newdistribution
i,.... I i (Linnaeus) (Megaloptera: Corydalidae) in
K .i1 'i I0 .1 ci. 120 (4): 427- 431.
!..IIII.,I i I. \ \1 lli t ,.I i'awlins. 2009. Distribution of Acrophtalmia
i ..i J .. I i .i '. ith descriptions of two new subspecies from
Ii, inli..l. ii. 1 1[ [l.il...l u i Nvmphalidae: Satyrinae). Bulletin of the
. I,.2 I.-
I 'Jr'i. 1\ I '1 I... I ( Daniels and J. A. Pence. 2009. Host plant
hu,,.., Ii 1 I i i ii .I ,,I productivev e phenology in Megathymusyuccae
i i .....I1.i ii ,. i.....i. ronmentalEntomoloev38:1211-1218.
Wahlberg, N., E. Weingartner, A.D. Warren and S. Nylin. 2009. Timing major
conflict between mitochondrial and nuclear genes in species relationships
of Polygonia butterflies (Nymphalidae: Nymphalini). BMC Evolutionary
Biology 2009 9:92 doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-9-92
Warren, A.D. 2009. Getting to know George Austin: Rondonia, Brazil, August,
1993. Association for Tropical Lepidoptera Notes, December, 2009: 1-2.
Warren, A. D. and G. T. Austin. 2009. Variation of Stinga Evans, 1955, with
description of a new species from Mexico (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae:
Hesperiinae: Hesperiini). Zootaxa 2197:1-19.
George T. Austin, the McGuire Center's former Senior Collections
Manager, passed away on June 30, 2009, at his home in Gainesville. George
was a close friend of many of his coworkers at the McGuire Center, and his
loss continues to be felt in the museum, over eight months after his passing.
A formal obituary detailing all of George's contributions to science is under
preparation and will appear elsewhere, but a brief summary is presented
here. For additional information and images, please see George's memorial
webpage at: http://butterfliesofamerica.com/GTA.htm
Since early childhood, George had been interested in butterflies, but he
began his career as a research biologist focused on birds of the American
Southwest. He authored or coauthored about 35 papers on this subject
between 1965 and 1982, and his Masters Thesis was on the avifauna of
southern Nevada's Spring Mountains (University of Nevada, Las Vegas,
George T. Austin, the McGuire Center's former Senior
Collections Manager, passed away on June 30, 2009.
1967). After about 1978, the majority of George's publications concern
butterflies, including faunal surveys and systematic revisions of a variety of
species and genera. To date, George has authored or coauthored over 145
publications on butterflies, and has described many new genera, species and
subspecies. In addition, a number of projects George was developing in
collaboration with other researchers have yet to be completed and published.
George was deeply interested in the biogeography of the Great Basin, and
this was evident in his publications on butterflies. His earliest revisionary
papers were on butterfly species complexes in Nevada that display
complicated patterns of geographic variation. George described dozens
of new subspecies of butterflies from Nevada, from all families, and was a
major contributor to a massive 1998 volume on the Systematics of Western
North American Butterflies. George was also keenly interested in the
Neotropical butterfly fauna, especially that of Guatemala, Costa Rica, and
Rondonia, Brazil; he spent extensive periods of time sampling butterflies in
each of these regions, and developed massive research collections from these
areas, as well as a vast collection of worldwide butterfly species.
From a taxonomic viewpoint, George was an internationally recognized
expert on the family Hesperiidae I .!. I.iii. II. as well as the authority
on the metalmark genus Calephells, yet he was comfortable working with all
families of butterflies. George also maintained an interest in moths, which
became more intense once he arrived in Florida. He conducted an informal
survey of the moths of Nevada, which is still unpublished, and he surveyed
moths in Gainesville, documenting more than 1300 species in his yard, while
simultaneously conducting a survey of the moth fauna of Paynes Prairie State
Most Lepidopterists, including his colleagues at the museum, regarded
George as a walking encyclopedia to butterflies of all families, especially
those inhabiting the American Southwest. This, and his inexhaustible sense
of humor, are just two of George's many qualities that can never be replaced.
8 McGuire Center News, Issue 4, April 2010
Graduate Student Profiles continued from p. 1-3, 5-6
Academic Advisor: Dr. Keith Willmott
Taking a pioneering step in the realm
of macroecology and conservation of
Neotropical butterflies, Geoff Gallice is
currently constructing predicted range
maps for butterflies of eastern Ecuador.
Geoff's newly begun project is grounded
in one of the general rules of ecology:
a positive relationship exists between
abundance and geographic range-size. This
rule has been documented in a wide variety
of species and across many biogeographic
regions. Geoff notes, "In particular, the
majority of studies have focused on
vertebrates of temperate regions, whereas
global biodiversity is concentrated among
tropical invertebrates." He is planning
a field trip to Ecuador later this year in
order to collect abundance and other
ecological data. "My goal," he explains,
"is to examine the abundance-distribution
relationship forthe first time inNeotropical
Academic advisor: Dr. Jaret Daniels
Matthew Thom, a teaching assistant
for the Entomology Department at the
University of Florida, has a keen interest
in the threatened and endangered Frosted
Elfin Butterfly. According to Matthew,
whose research pays special attention to
this species, little is known about Florida's
Frosted Elfin population, despite the
species' broad range (populations occur
as far as the Midwest and Northeast in the
The Frosted Elfin Butterfly has evolved in
Floridian habitats notoriously prone to
wildfires but not much is documented
on how management practices such as
prescribed fires affect the rare, specialized
Frosted Elfin. "There are many questions
Frosted Elfin Butterfly
Geoff Gallice conducts field work in Yasuni, Ecuador.
To date, according to Geoff, no studies of
the abundance-distribution relationship have
involved Neotropical arthropods, where
most of the world's biodiversity is found.
Additionally, 6,000 of the world's 17,000
butterfly species can be found in the tropical
Andes, an area facing extreme pressure
from habitat loss. A rapid assessment of the
species and areas in need of protection is
urgently needed, but the necessary data are
unavailable for most species. Geoff Gallice,
currently a student, is seeking to conduct
Matthew Thom during prescribed burning of Florida
on how fire frequency, intensity, seasonality,
and homogeneity affect the Frosted elfin
during all life stages," says Thom. "This
butterfly overwinters as a pupa in the leaf
litter, is ant-associated as a larva. It feeds on
only two plant species throughout its range,
both of which are highly dependent upon fire
as they are early successional species."
Thom's research is concerned with
characterizing the resources and habitat for
the FrostedElfin. "I amparticularly interested
in how habitat restoration techniques such
as prescribed fire affect this butterfly and
habitat suitability for all life stages," explains
Thom. "My goals are to illuminate habitat
that could be considered critical for the
persistence of this rare butterfly." Through
his research with the Frosted Elfin, Thom
ultimately hopes to better understand the
ecology of rare butterfly distributions.
Recent Seminars at the
Aug 25 Jorge Llorente and Jimena Castro, Museo de Zoologia,
U N A M, Mexico "In search of other character systems in the
Dismorplunae (Plendae) eggs and antennal clubs "
Sept 8 Jacqueline Y Miller and Debbie Matthews Lott
"Blenvemdas a Honduras -Perspectives on Investigations of the
Sept 22 "What I did last summer Short accounts by Keith
Wilmott, Sebastian Padron, Andy Warren, and Court Whelan
Oct 6 James P Cuda, UF/IFAS, Dept of Entomology &
Nematology "Epistmus unguculus Clarke (Lepidoptera
Tortricidae), a Candidate for Biological Control of Brazilian
Peppertree in Flonda Biology, Host Range, and Impact Studies"
Oct 20 Dr Thomas Dykstra, Dykstra Laboratones, Inc "Can
Lepidopterans smell odors like scientists claim?"
Nov 3 Andy Warren, Kim Davis, Nick Grslun, Jon Pelham and
Mike Stangeland 'The McGuire Center The World's Biggest
Butterfly Website A Closer Look at www butterfliesofamerica
Nov 24 Christian Salcedo, The McGuire Center 'The secret life of
the sleeping Hehconmus behavior and chemical ecology"
Dec 1 Teresa Cooper, Department of Entomology and
Nematology "Classical Biological Control of the Mexican
Bromehad Weevil in Florida "
Bnefmeal before one of the McGuire Center's biweekly seminars,
L P Brower and T C Emmel on the foreground
Spring Semester 2010
Jan 12 Charles V Covell Jr, The McGuire Center "Inan Jaya,
New Guinea Butterflies and Moths in a Stone Age World "
Jan 26 Thomson Pans Research Proposal "Parasitoid abundance
in Lepidoptera over an urban/rural gradient "
Feb 1 Aklto Kawahara, Universty of Maryland "Evolution of the
mega-diverse insect order Lepidoptera "
Feb 4 Jadranka Rota, National Museum of Natural History,
Smithsoman Institution "Metalmark moths (Lepidoptera
Choreutidae) Systematics, jumping spider mimicry, and caterpillar
security systems "
Feb 9 Kathy Malone "Community ButterflyScapng and Flonda-
friendly Landscaping Going beyond butterfly gardening "
Feb 15 James Miller, Amencan Museum of Natural History
"Evolution of the diurnal moth group Dioptnae (Lepidoptera
Feb 23 Stewart B Peck, Dept of Biology, Carleton Umv, Ottawa
"A Research Project on the Biodiversity of the Beetles of the Lesser
March 16 Dr TerryArbogast, USDA "The Small bee luve beetle
ecological specialist or generalist?"
March 23 Dr Nipam H Patel, University of California at Berkeley
'The Formation and Maintenance of Lineage Compartments
During Lepidopteran Wing Development"
March 30 Dr John Heppner, Fla State Coll ofArthropods &
McGuire Center "Research sites in Peru and new Lepidoptera"
April 6 Geoff Gallice, McGuire Center "Neotropical Butterfly
Macroecology Abundance, Distnbution, and Implications for
April 13 J Andrel Sourakov, Court Whelan, Chistian Salcedo,
Matthew Trager, and Thomas C Emmel, The McGuire Center
'The Role of Video in Lepidoptera Research and Biodiversity
McGuire Center News, Issue 4, April 2010 9
Museum Travel Led
Four Lepidopterists' Expeditions Planned To Hondura in
Pico Bonito National Part
Honduras is certain,
on the road less tra ele
both in terms of .sitors
Central "merica as *..,el
Lepidoptera research ir
the tropics Ho....ever it
home to some of the m
pristine national parks
to...ering peaks and lus
tropical lo,, land and nc
rainforest left in Central
,America making this a
desirable place to expcl
Our ..ork in Honduras .
focus on Pico Bonito I.
Park an area of unspc
primary forest that
covers over 1000 squ
kilometers of lo..land
montane rainforest ,..'ith
an ele.ation range of S
- 2369nm Located near
the northern coastline
national park has an eq
outstanding lodge and
research station that pr
exclusive access into th
rich jungle of the interior
.A variety y of trails tra er
throughout the lo..land
and mid-montane forces
and offer man,' fantastic
May 8 16 Accepting Registrations
June 12 20 FullJ B'o,.)l-ed
June 24 July 2 Accepting Registrations
August 7 15 Accepting Registrations
o ides Upon arriving at San Pedro Sula International Airport on
e the first da, of the trip ....e ..-ill depart as a group for the
r Pico Bonito Research Station ha.ing time for immediate
se exploration and time to set up night collecting gear The
lodge has excellent access to the forest making it ideal for
ts photographing and collecting Ha ing a large private forest,
c as well as direct trails into the park this is an extraordinary'
s base of operations Days ill be yours to explore photograph
or collect Also ,our expedition leaders ...Ill brief you on
optional day trips for natural history, acti,,ites such as
I snorkeling at Roatan wildlife ....atching in mangrove estuaries
Sand extended guided hikes to even more remote areas of
S the park Birders ,..ill also be in for a treat as species often
regarded as rare else..here are found immediately around the
lodge This expedition is a tremendous opportunity to join in
ouir collaboration ,..,th the Honduran government and national
ini.ersities to document the extraordinary biod..eristy found in
Pico Bonito Ijational Park Whether you ....Ould prefer to simply
relax photograph ....ldlife and the beautiful scenery around the
lodge or participate in our biodiversity sur ey this is an ideal
trip for anyone interested in nature'
The Lodge at Pico Bonito is
keenly interested in initiating
scientific research and education
through expeditions and teaching
programs like this one which
.'.IIl afford us an unprecedented
look at the deep interior of Pico
Bonito National Park Lodging
during the expedition '..ill be
modestly comfortable and meals
..ll be basic but similar to that
found at other research stations
in Central America Ho e er
the main dining room of the
lodge offers a ..'ide assortment
of epicurean delights and
arrangements can be made ahead
of time if you ..ish to order from
How to Join the Expedition:
Plasv **_nil ,. ,ur m1"ailihn:l .,ddrh ';stsi'_
E', dil t .nTr.v.el.m.aln .l i ,m o1 call
I :. ,2 1 I-2 'li [, rel ,- tl-., fill
,i, ,chur. andl reia i tri. .n oi IT
Cost: I1 I S i'i Pr i p-er on in
loub ,le, --:uli rn y I All-inclu i-.e
-.,:-pc-[ for Ira I airfl,,ii
Estimated Int'l Airfare
",l' i i, P.,u n. I-tr ii
1 1) ..... 1 ..11 - I I- I- 1. ... I
AUGUST 5 20, 2010
Tke Quintessential A4rican Safari
The mere mention of the word safali is enough to invigorateth
adventurous spirit in all of us. With visions of towering girafs
massive elephants, elegant cheetahs and powerful lions
across endless savannas, and tropical jungle trails lined wt
hundreds of species of puddling butterflies it is hard not t
become instantly enthusiastic.
Iftethought of a two-week safari can do these things
toyu, imagine the feeling each morning of waking up
totesights and sounds of African wildlife as you
ebace a new day of constantly exciting adventure.
We ill fully immerse ourselves in the safari experience,
asw stay in some of the most spectacular wildlife
logs in the world, where watering holes and salt-
licks teeming with African mammals
will be viewed from our rooms and
exotic African Lepidoptera can
be marveled at and photographed
only steps from your door. McGuire
Center leaders will lead discussions
during the trip, which are open to all I 7 -7
interested persons. 1
Wiha combination of morning, afternoon and nighttime game drives, as well as
jnle hikes throughout the safari, you will experience the best that Kenya has to ofer
V isivww.flmnh.ufl.edu/butterflies/expeditions.htm or www.ExpeditionTravelOnline.com for or
inomation. Please send inquiries to ExpeditionTravel~ggmail.com or phone (352) 871-210
SMcGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity
Florida Museum of Natural History UNIVERSITY o
University of Florida Cultural Plaza
S.W. 34th Street and Hull Road
Gainesville, Florida 32611-2710 U FLO R ID
OF NATURAL HISTORY.
NEWS OF THE MCGUIRE CENTER is available on-line at http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/mcguire/mcguireNews.htm
Survey of Lepidopteran Biodiversity in Honduras
s~/ w ~i
A metalmark I.,Il ,ll
Juditha molpe (Riodini-
dae) in Honduras: adult
(left); right larva of the
same species tended by
ants on Cacao leaf
Honduras is of particular interest for our research
and education programs not only because it is
located in the Neotropics -- the most diverse
biogeographical region -- but also because it has
links to Caribbean biogeography. The country
encompasses a wide range of elevations and
vegetation zones, and has a complex geological
history. Due to historical and political reasons,
its Lepidoptera remain relatively unstudied
when compared to Guatemala and Belize to its
north, or Nicaragua and Costa Rica to its south.
This year, McGuire Center's staff and students
participated in initial surveys of the biodiversity
of Lepidoptera in Honduras. Three trips
have been made in the past year with several
more scheduled this year. Field studies and
ecotourism programs are currently based in
northern Honduras at Pico Bonito Lodge, La
Ceiba. Jacqueline Y. Miller, Thomas C.
Emmel, Deborah Matthews Lott, and Court
12 !,;m l .lI.lM .ws, Issue 4, April 2010
Whelan are also working in cooperation with
the Biodiversity Center of Escuela Agricultura
Panamerica en Zamorano near Tegucigalpa.
Additional field sites are being investigated
along with opportunities for graduate studies and
the development of a program in parataxonomy,
which would involve the local people in training
Butterfly groups of current focus include the
Riodinidae, Lycaenidae, Hesperiidae, and
Satyrinae, and all moth taxa are being sampled.
We are particularly interested in describing
new life histories and collecting taxa that are
underrepresented in museum collections, as
well as those associated with hostplants of
cultural and economic significance. Use of
butterflies as environmental indicators has also
Rhetus pernander metalmark, Yaupi, Ecuador
Graduate Student Profile
Academic advisors: Drs. Charles Baer and Thomas
Jonathan has completed his M.S. in the
Department of Biology and is graduating this
May. As part of his Masters thesis, he constructed
a DNA-based phylogeny of Metalmark
butterflies (Riodinidae) using 78 different
species in 69 genera. He used specimens from
the McGuire Center's collection, donated for
this purpose by one of the Museum's associates,
Dr. J. D. Turner. The phylogeny, created by
Saunders, determined evolutionary relationships
in some riodinid groups that were unresolved
by the previous studies. It also shed light on
the evolutionary history of myrmecophily
(association of riodinid caterpillars and ants).
Jonathan Saunders is now planning to teach for
a while in California or Hawaii before he starts
his Ph.D. program at another university.
PERMIT NO. 726