What is a lepidopterist
Chris J. Durden
drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Thu Jan 31 12:08:05 EST 2002
A hundred years ago many ornithologists like lepidopterists, were
amateurs and even some of the professionals lacked degrees. This was a
happy situation, engendered by respect for knowledge.
In the interim, the collection of bird specimens has been outlawed for
all but the few accredited professional ornithologists who's credentials
enable them to successfully qualify for a permit to collect. This state of
affairs has effectively limited the practice of Ornithology to
degree-holding professionals. Because we know an awful lot about birds we
tend to think (if we consider it at all) this situation tolerable.
In the interim, the collection of insect specimens has NOT been
outlawed. The practice of Lepidoptery and other forms of Entomology has not
been limited to degree-holding professionals. Because we know awful little
about insects we need to keep the situation this way. We cannot afford to
support (through government or industry funding) a real Biological Survey
that would sample in every neck-of-the-woods (rather than just in political
hot spots). We rely on amateur entomologists to provide the majority of the
space/time series of samples for our museum collections which are the
resource upon which professional research depends.
We need to keep things this way if we are to document our fauna and the
changes in it brought on by the effects of our industrial modification of
our climate and habitat.
We need to combat the privatization of knowledge, brought on by laws of
patent, copyright and national patrimony in response to the piratical
tactics of entrepreneurs in the chemical prospecting and genetic
Personally, I would rather have knowledge and freedom than money and
entertainment. But I am just a retired old-style-museum-taxonomist.
...............Chris Durden, Naturalist.
At 12:19 AM 1/31/2002 -0800, you wrote:
>--- "Chris J. Durden" <drdn at mail.utexas.edu> wrote:
> > At 09:56 PM 1/30/2002 -0500, you wrote:
> > - - -
> > > If you are serious about the study of butterflies and
> > >moths at any level, then I suspect you are indeed a lepidopterist.
> > It's not
>It would also leave out some of the
> > life-listers who rush from hot spot to hot spot without lingering
> > for a
> > long look at familiar species.
> > ...................Chris Durden (an Entomologist who is also a
> > Lepidopterist)
>Exactly, like a birder from an ornithologist.
>Now come to think of it, while ornithologists accept a lot of data
>from "birders", most of them require a degree, advanced or otherwise
>to include you in their ranks. So maybe entomologists and
>lepidopterists are more "liberal" ?, less "cold prickly" ? "more warm
>and fuzzy" ? or just desparate (sp?) for help and companionship.
>Lepidopterest, Odontologist, Ornithologist, Herpetologist,
>Limnologist, Ethologist, Ecologist and Apologist
>Bob Parcelles, Jr
>Pinellas Park, FL
>RJP Associates, C2M-BWPTi
>rjparcelles at yahoo.com
>"Change your thoughts and you change your world."
>- Norman Vincent Peale
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