Striking green-eyed butterfly discovered in the United States

May 28, 2013
This image shows the new butterfly species Vicroy's Ministreak, distinguished by its striking olive green eyes. Credit: Jeffrey Glassberg

A new butterfly species from Texas, given the common name Vicroy's Ministreak, was discovered because of its striking olive green eye color, and was given a formal scientific name (Ministrymon janevicroy). This beautiful new butterfly may be the last truly distinctive butterfly species to be discovered in the United States.

Although individuals of Vicroy's Ministreak were deposited in the Smithsonian collections a century ago, this species was unrecognized because it was confused with the common, similar-looking Gray Ministreak. Interestingly what distinguishes the two species is the distinctive olive-green eyes of the new species in contrast to the dark brown/black eyes of the Gray Ministreak.

This image shows the long known Gray Ministreak, confused with the newly discovered Vicroy's Ministreak, despite the obvious eye color difference. Credit: Jeffrey Glassberg

As their common names suggest both species are diminutive, about the size of a thumbnail, and may occur at the same time and place. Besides , each has different and different . They have different, but overlapping, geographic distributions and habitat requirements.

Jeffrey Glassberg, President of the North American Butterfly Association, discovered Vicroy's Ministreak, and he named the species after his wife (Jane Vicroy Scott). Bob Robbins, the butterfly curator at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, together with Glassberg, are the authors of the paper officially describing Vicroy's Ministreak, published in the open access scientific journal ZooKeys.

This image shows the habitat for Vicroy's Ministreak, at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. Credit: Jeffrey Glassberg

Regardless of whether Vicroy's Ministreak turns out to be the last truly distinctive butterfly to be discovered in the United States, the era of new butterfly species, which began with Linnaeus more than 250 years ago, is ending in the . In tropical America, however, there are still hundreds upon hundreds of butterfly species awaiting discovery.

Explore further: Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

More information: Robbins RK, Glassberg J (2013) A butterfly with olive green eyes discovered in the United States and the Neotropics (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae, Eumaeini). ZooKeys 305: 1, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.305.5081

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New species of butterfly discoverd

Dec 20, 2007

A team of London-based explorers discovered a new species of butterfly in the northern reaches of the Andes mountain range in South America.

Wet 2012 'catastrophic' for UK butterflies

Mar 26, 2013

Britain's butterflies suffered a "catastrophic" year in 2012 with almost all species declining as a result of torrential rains, according to a study published on Tuesday.

An eye gene colors butterfly wings red

Jul 21, 2011

Red may mean STOP or I LOVE YOU! A red splash on a toxic butterfly's wing screams DON'T EAT ME! In nature, one toxic butterfly species may mimic the wing pattern of another toxic species in the area. By ...

Recommended for you

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

3 hours ago

Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

Offspring benefit from mum sending the right message

11 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers have uncovered a previously unforeseen interaction between the sexes which reveals that offspring survival is affected by chemical signals emitted from the females' eggs.

Lemurs match scent of a friend to sound of her voice

Apr 15, 2014

Humans aren't alone in their ability to match a voice to a face—animals such as dogs, horses, crows and monkeys are able to recognize familiar individuals this way too, a growing body of research shows.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

For cells, internal stress leads to unique shapes

From far away, the top of a leaf looks like one seamless surface; however, up close, that smooth exterior is actually made up of a patchwork of cells in a variety of shapes and sizes. Interested in how these ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.