Monday, December 17, 2012

Get up, stand up

My apologies for not posting as often as usual but first I caught a pretty nasty bug and stayed in bed for two days and this week we are working on the finishing touches of the new iBOL Barcode Bulletin that should come out at end of this week. That work keeps me quite busy. Nevertheless, here a little story about a little newly discovered skipper butterfly that was found on Jamaica

Troyus turneri
Researchers from the Florida Museum of Natural History used morphology, especially comparisons of the insect's genitalia, and DNA Barcoding to determine that it was not only a new species but represented a new genus. Troyus turneri is a small butterfly with a wingspan of little more than 1 cm but according to some of the authors has the potential to be a flagship species for Jamaican habitat conservation, because it's a black butterfly with gold stripes living in a green habitat, which together comprise the Jamaican national colors. The resaerches hope the native butterfly will encourage conservation of the country's last wilderness where it was discovered: the Cockpit Country. It is the first butterfly discovered in Jamaica since 1995. The island was thought to be well-known, but now 17 years later the new encounter really shows the need for biodiversity studies in the region.

The genus was named Troyus for the town of Troy, which is nearest to the region of the Cockpit Country where it was collected, and the species was named for Thomas Turner, an expert on Jamaica butterflies who contributed to its discovery.

In case of further species discoveries in this genus may I humbly suggest names such as Troyus marleyi or Troyus toshii :-)

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