A lepidopterist is a person who specialises in the study of Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

, members of an order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 encompassing moth
A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Moths form the majority of this order; there are thought to be 150,000 to 250,000 different species of moth , with thousands of species yet to be described...

s and the three superfamilies of butterflies
A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured...

, skipper butterflies
Skipper (butterfly)
A skipper or skipper butterfly is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae. They are named after their quick, darting flight habits. There are more than 3500 recognized species of skippers and they occur worldwide, but with the greatest diversity in the Neotropical regions of Central and South...

, and moth-butterflies
Hedylidae, the "American moth-butterflies", is a family of insects in the lepidopteran order, representing the superfamily Hedyloidea. They are an extant sister group of the butterfly superfamilies Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea...

. The term also includes hobbyists who are not formal scholars, and, who catch, collect, study, or simply observe
Butterfly watching
Butterfly watching is a hobby concerned with the observation and study of butterflies. It also includes "catch and release" of butterflies...


The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, the rise of the "lepidopterist" or "aurelian" can be attributed to the expanding interest in science, nature and the surroundings. When Linnaeus wrote the tenth edition of the Systema Naturae
Systema Naturae
The book was one of the major works of the Swedish botanist, zoologist and physician Carolus Linnaeus. The first edition was published in 1735...

in 1758, there was already "a substantial body of published work on Lepidopteran natural history" (Kristensen, 1999).

These included:
  • Insectorum sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum - Thomas Mouffet
    Thomas Muffet
    Thomas Muffet was an English naturalist and physician. He is best known for his Puritan beliefs, his study of insects in regards to medicine , his support of the Paracelsian system of medicine, and his emphasis on the importance of experience over reputation in the field of medicine.-Early...

  • Metamorphosis Naturalis - Jan Goedart
    Jan Goedart
    Jan Goedart was a Dutch painter famous for his illustrations of insects....

     (1662-67 ).
  • Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium - Maria S. Merian
    Maria Sibylla Merian
    Maria Sibylla Merian was a naturalist and scientific illustrator who studied plants and insects and made detailed paintings about them...

     (1705), whose work included illustrated accounts of European Lepidoptera.
  • Historia Insectorum - John Ray
    John Ray
    John Ray was an English naturalist, sometimes referred to as the father of English natural history. Until 1670, he wrote his name as John Wray. From then on, he used 'Ray', after "having ascertained that such had been the practice of his family before him".He published important works on botany,...

  • Papilionum Brittaniae icones - James Petiver
    James Petiver
    James Petiver was a London apothecary, a Fellow of the Royal Society as well as London's informal Temple Coffee House Botany Club, famous for his study of botany and entomology.-Life:...

     (1717), and many others.

Fictional lepidopterists

  • The father, Ben, in the TV series Butterflies
    Butterflies (TV series)
    Butterflies is a British sitcom written by Carla Lane broadcast on BBC2 from 1978–83.The situation is the day-to-day life of the Parkinson family in a bittersweet style. There are both traditional comedy sources and more unusual sources such as Ria's unconsummated relationship with the...

  • The character Red Jack, who claimed to be both Jack the Ripper
    Jack the Ripper
    "Jack the Ripper" is the best-known name given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the largely impoverished areas in and around the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. The name originated in a letter, written by someone claiming to be the murderer, that was disseminated in the...

     and God
    God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

    , in the comic book Doom Patrol
    Doom Patrol
    The Doom Patrol is a superhero team appearing in publications from DC Comics. The original Doom Patrol first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80...

  • The character Judge Holden in Cormac McCarthy
    Cormac McCarthy
    Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist and playwright. He has written ten novels, spanning the Southern Gothic, Western, and modernist genres. He received the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction for The Road...

    's novel Blood Meridian.
  • Stein in Lord Jim
    Lord Jim
    Lord Jim is a novel by Joseph Conrad originally published as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine from October 1899 to November 1900.An early and primary event is Jim's abandonment of a ship in distress on which he is serving as a mate...

  • Ada in Vladimir Nabokov
    Vladimir Nabokov
    Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

    's Ada, has dreams as a young girl of being a lepidopterist on the fictional planet 'anti-terra'. (Nabokov himself was an accomplished lepidopterist.)
  • The character Frederick Clegg in the novel The Collector (1962) by John Fowles
    John Fowles
    John Robert Fowles was an English novelist and essayist. In 2008, The Times newspaper named Fowles among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".-Birth and family:...

    , also made into a film (1965) directed by William Wyler.
  • Mr. Doe and Mr. Cardholder of the Venture Bros. who contact Jonas Venture Jr. at Spider Skull Island, to deal with The Monarch, a character with a butterfly theme.
  • Jame Gumb
    Jame Gumb
    Jame Gumb, known by the nickname Buffalo Bill, is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the 1988 novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, and its 1991 film adaptation, in which he was played by Ted Levine...

    , the main antagonist in the novel and film The Silence of the Lambs
    The Silence of the Lambs (novel)
    The Silence of the Lambs is a novel by Thomas Harris. First published in 1988, it is the sequel to Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon. Both novels feature the cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, this time pitted against FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling.- Plot summary :The novel takes...

    by Thomas Harris
    Thomas Harris
    Thomas Harris is an American author and screenwriter, best known for a series of suspense novels about his most famous character, Hannibal Lecter...


See also

  • Insect collecting
    Insect collecting
    Insect collecting is the collection of insects for hobby, scientific study or profit. Historically insect collecting has been widespread and a very popular educational hobby. Insect collecting has left traces in European cultural history, literature and songs Insect collecting is the collection of...

  • Butterfly watching
    Butterfly watching
    Butterfly watching is a hobby concerned with the observation and study of butterflies. It also includes "catch and release" of butterflies...

  • Coleopterist
  • Timeline of entomology – prior to 1800
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.