What is a lepidopterist? - One man's Humble Opinion

Robert J. Nuelle, Jr. rnuelle at houston.rr.com
Wed Jan 30 09:04:28 EST 2002

A lepidopterist . . . Hmmm

I would like to suggest that there is a definite evolutionary process with
distinct stages that one moves through in becoming a Lepidopterist.

Stage 1:    NEOPHYTE Phase:   Mild interest rapidly becoming a primary
First specimens captured or photographed,
Book acquisition phase - chiefly Field Guides,
Equipment acquisitions begin - boxes, pins, spreading boards, better
cameras, albums, etc.

Stage 2:    AVOCATIONAL Phase:  Individual becoming highly motivated
Begins carrying Nets, Cameras in trunk of car
Buys better boxes, invests [creates] a database
First Scientific ­ higher grade books purchased
Begins discussing Butterflies or Moths in general conversation

Stage 3:    AMATEUR LEPIDOPTERIST Phase:    Individual now committed
Can now name all Latin names of specimens in collection
Collection [specimens or photographs] grows explosively
Joins first List Serve ­ Club ‹ Seeking out more experienced mentors,
primarily a questioner
Specialization probably begins here ­ One or more associated families become
Books and Journals now being purchased more regularly

Stage 4:    LEPIDOPTERIST Phase:    Individual now actively sharing
Is now Field logging behavior and doing semi-scientific research on Focus
Begins to plan vacations / free time around the Avocation
No longer a listserve lurker ­ individual now actively posts REPLIES to
others¹ questions
Collection activities [specimens or photographs] may taper off in favor of
Analysis activities

Stage 5:    LEPIDOLOGICAL MENTOR Phase:     Individual now is more concerned
with teaching
Collection activities now highly focused  - more intensely focused ­ less
extensive in scope.
Maintains a high volume of correspondence [email & snail mail] with others
Probably begins to build the definitive website on their research or Focus
May actively seed specimens/photos to others at earlier phases in
Probably gives first lecture at a Club ­ Show ­ Public Forum
Begins to think about writing a book.

Stage 6:    ACCREDITED LEPIDOPTERIST Phase: Individual now completely
focused on knowledge dissemination
Collection now very mature and a museum/university has been selected for
ultimate deposition
College classes are taken or other formal certification processes are
Book or Website is published and mature.
Individual now begins to focus entirely on cataloging hard won knowledge and
ensure its longevity
This is the highest evolutionary phase ­ a totally non-selfish state of
being completely focused on knowledge sharing

Stage 7:    LEPIDOPTERIST EMERITUS Phase:   Individual begins to enjoy the
fruits of labors
Speaking engagements ­ publishing activities increase
Tales of collecting trips or phyllogenetic epiphanies are increasing the
topic of conversation
Enthusiasm gives way to philosophical observations
Collection gets donated
Death occurs ­ but legacy lives on

Stage 8:    POSTHUMOUS EXPERT ­ Individual is now known by his/her
Lepidopterist¹s name is seen constantly in the scientific press  in the
Works Cited section
Others tell the tales of trips gone by and epiphanies experienced
A Butterfly/Moth is named after the individual
We all gain from standing on the shoulders of this giant ­ the contributions
and sacrifices bear fruit

In My Humble Opinion ‹ Where are you?

Bob Nuelle
Stage 3 and growing


Robert J. Nuelle, Jr.
The UniverShell Trading Company

webmaster at univershell.com

http://www.univershell.com/home.html      --- Molluscan Natural History Site
http://www.univershell.com/bfly/home.htm  --- Butterfly Natural History Site

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/private/leps-l/attachments/20020130/2d5073fa/attachment.html 

More information about the Leps-l mailing list