Fundación ProAves – por las aves y su hábitat en Colombia

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Colombia: The World’s Leader in Butterfly Species Diversity

22 June, 2021

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A team of butterfly experts published a Checklist of Colombian Butterflies, which contains, for the first time, 3,642 species of lepidoptera that fly in the national territory. With this publication, Colombia has officially become the country with the largest number of butterfly species on the planet.

Thanks to the immense effort made by an international team led by photographers Juan Guillermo Jaramillo and Kim Garwood, in the company of Colombian biologists Cristóbal Ríos and Blanca Huertas, it was possible to catalog the largest list of butterfly species for a country. The publication is in English and Spanish and can be downloaded here.

In the checklist, published by the Natural History Museum of London, you can appreciate the great richness and diversity of butterfly species that exist in Colombia: it contains a list of 3,642 species and 2,085 subspecies, of which more than 200 species are unique and only found in the country. Approximately 20% of the planet’s butterfly species are registered on the Checklist of Colombian Butterflies, and we hope that this publication will promote the conservation of all these insect species, as well as the protection of the forests that host them.

This is a great achievement for Colombia, since we are not only the nation with the greatest diversity of bird and orchid species in the world, but also of butterflies. According to the study, although Peru and Ecuador are very close in terms of their biodiversity, there are still no published lists of butterfly species from these countries.

“‘Protecting the butterflies in Colombia will aid the protection of its forests and other less charismatic species and actions need to be taken almost immediately as the forests in Colombia are being lost at an alarming rate over the last years’” indicates the press release sent by the team of experts.

©Juan Guillermo Jaramillo