Supported by the Darwin Initiative and other sponsors

Project news
Student courses and grants


Darwin Database of Andean Butterflies

Note: we accept no responsibility for any errors encountered in the database at this time. We are in the process of checking all records currently in the database.

This database is updated every few months. To see a summary of specimen data currently in the database (as of 31 August 2007) click here.

This database is a source of information on the distribution and taxonomy of the butterfly families Papilionidae, Pieridae and Nymphalidae that occur in tropical Andean countries (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and Bolivia), based on capture data of specimens deposited in various museums, such as:

- The Natural History Museum, London
- Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville
- Museo del Instituto de Zoología Agrícola, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Maracay (MIZA)
- Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas de Venezuela, Bogotá (IVIC)
- Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá (ICN)
- Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá
- Private collection of Jean François LeCrom, Bogotá
- Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales, Quito (MECN)
- Museo de Historia Natural, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima (MUSM)
- Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, Santa Cruz (MHNNKM)
- Museo Alcides D'Orbigny, Cochabamba (MAO)
- Colección Boliviana de Fauna, La Paz (CBF).

The taxonomic checklist is based on Lamas (2004), and is intended to be comprehensive for all neotropical taxa, not only those occurring in tropical Andean countries (Lamas, G. [ed.], 2004. Checklist: Part 4A. Hesperioidea - Papilionoidea. In J. B. Heppner [ed.], Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera. Volume 5A. Association for Tropical Lepidoptera/Scientific Publishers, Gainesville).

All information in this database is available freely to all researchers (non-commercial) with the purpose of promoting cooperation and exchange of data among those interested in the study of tropical Andean butterflies. The data stored here are protected by author copyright for each country, institution or individual who has made those data available, including all lists, images (low and high resolution) and other data that appear here. Use of the data does not constitute an obligation to co-author publications, but the author of the original information and this database should be acknowledged as follows:

"Author. In: Tropical Andean Butterfly Diversity Project (TABDP). 2007. Darwin Database of Andean Butterflies."

Equally, those who have funded the compilation of data should be acknowledged as follows:

"The Darwin Andean Butterfly Database was developed with support from the Darwin Initiative and Conservation International".

We hope that the data now available and those that will be added through collaboration with other researchers will be useful for all researchers in tropical Andean butterflies, and that these data will be used in a positive manner. Thanks to information submitted by many colleagues we will continue to update the database, so please treat these data with the same respect as if they were obtained from publications, and give appropriate credit. If you intend to use a significant amount of data from any one individual or organisation, we ask that you contact directly that individual or organisation before publishing any data that may already be in use in a publication in preparation or in press. Currently, this means contacting either Keith Willmott ( [Nymphalidae, Pieridae: Dismorphiinae]) or Blanca Huertas ( [Papilionidae, Pieridae: Pierinae]). We hope that this spirit of trust will convince others to share their data here also. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity or reliability of any data contained within this database, and once we have completed our initial revision of the data we would appreciate being informed of any further errors.

Use of data from this database constitutes acceptance of the conditions as stated above.

We hope in the future to enable searches to be conducted of databases of contributing organisations through this website, and viceversa.

Butterflies of Ecuador Database

A distribution database for butterflies of Ecuador (currently Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae), by Jason Hall and Keith Willmott.

Species of the tribe Anaeini of Venezuela (Nymphalidae)

An illustrated database of distribution information for this tribe in Venezuela by Francisco Romero.

Pieridae of Venezuela

An illustrated database of distribution information for this tribe in Venezuela by Quintín Arias.

Illustrated Checklist of Ithomiinae

An illustrated checklist for this nymphalid subfamily, by Keith Willmott.


The Global Lepidoptera Names Index, developed at the Natural History Museum, London, by George Beccaloni, Malcolm Scoble, Gaden Robinson and Brain Pitkin, is a digitised version of the museum's card catalogue of species-group names. This has been updated and revised with the help of specialists, particularly Gerardo Lamas, as part of the Global Butterfly Names project (principal investigator Jim Mallet), and is the most complete online taxonomic list of Lepidoptera.

Butterflies and Moths of the World - Generic Names and their Type-species

A gobal catalogue of genus-group names for Lepidoptera, developed by Brian Pitkin at the Natural History Museum, London, and updated (in part) with assistance from Gerardo Lamas as part of the Global Butterfly Names project.