What is a lepidopterist?

Martin Bailey cmbb at sk.sympatico.ca
Tue Jan 29 17:22:58 EST 2002

Hi there,

A minor point to your well thought out posting.  Hunting licenses to shoot
(or to mount) game birds (or animals) is a form of collecting.  And museums
still can get permits to "collect" non-game birds that are not in their

An amalgamation of both would be a party of hunters who shot a duck this
fall northwest of where I live this fall.  It is a Yellow-Billed Teal.  A
bird of southern South America.  (It probably will be delivered, as a
courtesy,  to The Royal Saskatchewan Museum this Friday to become part of
their collection. They don't have one.)

The rub in butterflying will be who will have the right in the future to
collect specimens.

Martin Bailey,

greetings from:  Weyburn, SK., Canada.
                         49.39N  103.51W
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rudy Benavides" <rbenavid at hotmail.com>
To: <leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 3:25 PM
Subject: Re: What is a lepidopterist?

> Mark Walker <MWalker at gensym.com> wrote:
> Likewise, the term "lepidopterist" is better reserved for those with a
> strong link to scientific activities - regardless of any professional
> affiliation.
> Many people nowadays become interested in butterflies through programs
> they attend that are sponsored by nature centers, or similar
> These are typically in the form of walks where a group leader leads the
> group and helps to locate and identify butterflies.  There is also much
> literature available now emphasizing butterfly gardening, and that is
> something that has come about in the past several years.  These
> organizations are very effective in conducting basic classes and in giving
> many people their first introduction into the world of butterflies and
> things in nature.
> It is from these ranks that thousands of people today are becoming the new
> breed of butterfliers that are out there today.  I've been to sessions
> nets are used, and I've been to ones where the leader explains that in
> his/her outing, nets will not be used.  From these groups, many folks will
> go on to join local Butterfly Clubs as well as other national
> such as NABA.  And it's my opinion that relatively few join Lepidopterists
> Societies, simply because, if they are aware of them at all, they are
> perceived as societies for professionals...noticed I said perceived.
> Now I find the whole thing most interesting, because it is the same
> that the 'birding' movement went through years ago until it became the
> popular avocation that it is today and includes such competitive things as
> World Series of Birding, etc.  One difference that stands out now in the
> butterfly world is with collectors.  In the birding world that never
> an issue primarily because collecting birds is not allowed due to
> migratory federal laws. One can only imagine had that not been the case.
> But the attitude (which Alex referred to as a movement) is coming.. (heck,
> it's here already), and I expect to see a proliferation of more magazines,
> books, videos, seminars, etc., etc, geared to butterfliers and butterfly
> watchers.  I think Ron made a statement (it caught my eye) a few days ago
> when he mentioned that the Lep Society had had its chance awhile back but
> 'missed it'....well, we all know that someone else did not.  But anyway,
> that's the change that is coming and that's IMO the reason why these
> distinctions about lepidopterist vs watchers are going to be made,,,,,with
> all the positives and negatives that they bring.
> I'm sure others see this differently, and that's why i asked the question
> originally.
> Rudy
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