What is a lepidopterist?

Rudy Benavides rbenavid at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 27 08:38:00 EST 2002

What is a lepidopterist (in 2002)?  With all the recent postings concerning 
netting, collecting, watching,  etc., I have been wondering how folks here 
might answer that question.  I received an email response to an earlier post 
of mine about "butterfly watchers and lepidopterists" in which the poster 
said that "years ago we were all the same", there were no distinctions.  But 
now, with a growing segment of the butterfly community involved in more 
passive butterflying (with binoculars), does that change the meaning or use 
of the word lepidopterist?  By the way, this is not intended to poke fun or 
ridicule anyone.  I am just wondering if there will come a time in the near 
future when the distinction will be made...just like what happened in the 
birding community... there are birders and there are ornithologists.  I 
personally know scores of birders, but I only know a handful of 
ornithologists.  I also have my own definition of a lepidopterist (a pro, 
someone that does research, publishes, etc.)...but that's just my opinion.

So is a lepidopterist just anyone with an interest in butterflies/moths?  Or 
is there more to it than that?


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