Yunnan Province has established a butterfly checklist

South China's Yunnan Province has established a butterfly checklist with more than 1,300 species found in a province that boasts rich biodiversity thanks to its complex topography and diverse climatic conditions. 

The checklist was compiled by an insect research team from the Kunming Institute of Zoology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) after years of field investigation, specimen collection, inspection and literature review.

At the laboratory of Evolutionary Genomics and Origin of New Genes, hundreds of butterfly specimens of various shapes, sizes, and brilliant colors are on display.

"This is only a small part. After finishing our research, we will hand all of them over to our Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology which can ensure the specimens are kept in good condition. The specimens are invaluable resources as they can show us what the butterflies look like," said Li Xueyan, associate researcher at CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology.

The more than 1,300 species identified belong to six families and 356 genera, accounting for the majority of the country's total number of butterfly species.

"China is home to about 2,200 butterfly species. Statistics show that more than 1,300 species are found in Yunnan, which makes up nearly 60 percent of the country's total. Among them, nearly 90 species are endemic to Yunnan, which shows the province's rich diversity of insects," said Li.

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