A pair of scientists have discovered a new subspecies of butterfly whose only known habitat is at the peak of a potentially active volcano in the central Philippines. Specimens of the new subspecies, Appias phoebe nuydai, were first collected in 2012 by researcher Jade Badon, who initially misidentified them as belonging to a different phoebe subspecies. The researcher realized in 2019 that the species was different after comparing its forewings to existing cataloged species. Climate change is the biggest possible threat to high-elevation butterflies, with researchers calling for more studies into how the butterflies are adapting. Filipino lepidopterist Jade Aster T. Badon is accustomed to traveling to some of the remotest parts of the Philippines in search of new butterfly species. In August 2019, he made a discovery in a more unexpected place: a field guide he had published himself five years earlier. In 2014, Badon even included an illustration of this Appias phoebe subspecies in a butterfly field guide and labeled it A. p. Montana , a known subspecies . This mistake, however, was what would reveal the butterfly’s real identity years later. It wasn’t until August last year that Badon had an epiphany. While browsing the same […]

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