Types of butterflies in S. American rainforest

Mark Walker MWalker at gensym.com
Fri Feb 26 14:29:19 EST 1999

Oops.  Thanks for the correction, Jim.  The 80/20 rule can be applied here
many times over.  Suffice it to say that everything that I said in reference
to butterflies is even MORE true about moths.  Funny, how often we exclude
them when they clearly represent the majority.  And it's certainly not
because they are less interesting or colorful.

Mark Walker.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	DR. JAMES ADAMS [SMTP:jadams at carpet.dalton.peachnet.edu]
> Sent:	Friday, February 26, 1999 8:50 AM
> To:	Leps-L at lists.yale.edu
> Subject:	RE: Types of butterflies in S. American rainforest
> To whom it may concern:
> Mark Walker wrote:
> > The total number of known Lepidoptera species is on the order of 20,000.
> > Probably 80% of these live in tropical habitats, of which the South and
> > Latin American rainforest represents a substantial percentage 
> > (maybe 20%?).
> This is not meant to criticize Mark, as I'll be Mark already knows he 
> made a typo.  The total known *butterfly* species is somewhere around 
> 20,000 (probably higher than that now, since the estimate of 20,000 is 
> over a decade old).  There are significantly more Lepidoptera, most 
> of which can be called moths.  Indeed, Lepidoptera, depending on who 
> you talk to, is the second or third most speciose order, numbering 
> over (probably well over) 200,000 species, and one family of moths 
> (the noctuids) has around 25,000 species in and of itself worldwide, 
> with three other families (the pyralids, geometrids and arctiids) not 
> far behind.  Only the Coleoptera definitely numbers more species than 
> the leps, and hymenops are clearly about as speciose as the leps.  
> This information is for anyone who needs it -- I realize its pretty 
> basic for a number of you on this list!!
>                   James
> Dr. James K. Adams
> Dept. of Natural Science and Math
> Dalton State College
> 213 N. College Drive
> Dalton, GA  30720
> Phone: (706)272-4427; fax: (706)272-2533
> U of Michigan's President James Angell's 
>   Secret of Success: "Grow antennae, not horns"

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