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Friday, April 12, 2024

A butterfly discovered by UF scientists earlier this year now has a name: Minerva.

The right to name the species of owl butterfly was auctioned off for ,40,800.

The common name will be the Minerva owl butterfly, and its scientific name will be Opsiphanes blythekitzmillerae.

The name was chosen to honor Margery Minerva Blythe Kitzmiller of Ohio, on behalf of her five grandchildren.

The butterfly, which was discovered within UF's extensive collection of butterfly specimens, originates from Mexico's Sonoran Desert.

The money raised from the auction will go toward further research of Mexican butterflies.

"We are extremely appreciative of this gift, which will allow us to continue research with our colleagues in Mexico," said Andrew Warren, a post-doctoral associate at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, in a news release.

"Over the next two years, we plan to name several additional new species of Mexican butterflies and conduct fieldwork in poorly known and threatened habitats throughout the country."

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