Saurona triangula

The Americans have found a shiny new species of butterfly.
How often do we get this kind of news?


I wonder if it is eaten by Gandalfus griseii?
Not really related. But there’s a story in the Times today explaining that butterflies are aberrant moths that ventured out into the daylight (apparently partly based on fossil evidence!!). In that there are day-flying moths, I’m not sure that the Times fully explained the scientific implications.

Pretty well all things that move on earth have some sort of eye on them as if they started as day living organisms.
Light is the most important source of energy for life.
Light was what allowed green organisms to generate free oxygen for the first time leading to the formation of most of the iron ore deposits in the world. There was effectively a rust age caused by living organisms.
I feel dubious about reports that night flying moths came first.
It has always been important to know where light is coming from for the vast majority of living things.

I liked this bit in the article: Dr. Blanca Huertas, senior curator of lepidoptera at the Natural History Museum in London, said

“I work in the museum with the largest collection of butterflies in the world, and I have 70,000 little brown things just looking all the same. They really challenge (scientists) because they’re very similar to each other."
It’s good to know we’re not alone.

Perhaps need to mention DNA (and eDNA) and the large number of fungi or other microbes where you can’t even tell if they are little brown things.

DNA analysis will rule and divide species and lead to the world being paved with data centers.
We need at some time to define a point where the DNA difference is small enough for the specimen to remain the same species. Like a shot of common sense.
We need to save the world from DNA runaway.

Gandalfus griseii is Grise’s Gandalf, or perhaps Grey’s Gandalf, if Grey’s name was Latinised. Gandalfus griseus would be the grey Gandalf - which is closer to Gandalf the Grey. Perfection, I think, would be a Roman cognomen used as a noun in apposition for the epithet, rather than an adjective (griseus) or genitive (griesii). The problem is that (per Wikitionary) griseus is a Medieval Latin borrowing from French, and Classical Latin terms are cinereus (ash-grey), pullus (dark-grey) and perhaps plumbeus (lead-grey). Pullo is attested as a cognomen, but for all I know that comes the homonym meaning a young animal, and by extension a term of endearment.
Butterflies (Papilionoidea*) are modified moths, which has been known for quite some time. The Times’ report seems quite reasonable, though I haven’t checked the original paper. The Times’ neither affirms nor denies that butterflies are only one of several moth groups that adapted to diurnality. (It’s conceivable that butterflies are part of a larger diurnal moth grouping - it’d take some work to look compare the taxonomic distribution of diurnality in Lepidoptera and its phylogeny to evaluate that conjecture.)

  • Sometimes split into butterflies (Papilionoideae), skippers (Hesperoidea) and moth-butterflies (Hedlyoideae), but the three groups form a natural group (which would go by the name Rhopalocera).

I was always under the impression that moths had to develop bat signal sensing feelers with hairs spaced to resonate at sonar frequency.
That would involve a longer evolution time.

I bow to your superior knowledge of Latin!!

You might like to take into account that moths and butterflies have been around for much longer than bats have.