Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Butterfly Bingo

I’ve always been a fan of the butterfly and have always been perplexed by those who are not. Somewhere along the railroad journey of my mind, I recall reading that ancient peoples thought of them as fairies.

Or maybe it was the dragonfly. Or, perhaps they had just eaten one too many magical mushrooms from the forest.


In any case, much as I enjoy seeing them fluttter about, I’ve never really known much about them in general outside of that which is learned in school.

Caterpillar = Cocoon = Butterfly.

That’s why I was quite happy to digitally stumble across the “Butterflies and Moths of North America” website this morning. While the entire site seems quite wonderfully comprehensive (their sub-header reads “collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera”), I was particularly pleased with the “Regional Specific Checklist”.

The list/database allows you to select the region of North America in which you live (down to the county of the state even if you live in the United States) in order to discover a list of every butterfly and moth that can be found within that area. The list is complete with photographs of each species and very detailed information.

It seems to be a butterfly lovers fantasy dream. As the type of child who could become lost easily following a butterfly, had I had access to this database then, I’m certain that I would have been a binocular carrying butterfly geek in a very short amount of time.

So, the next time a particularly enchanting butterfly graces by your scope of vision, rather then just wonder what its backstory is, now you can have the answers at your fingertips – or wingtips.

Frankly, it’s quite fascinating. You can access the list here: 

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