Biologists sequence every U.S., Canadian butterfly genome

Researchers say they have sequenced the genome of every butterfly species in the United States and Canada. ©Peter Miller

Researchers say they have sequenced the genome of every butterfly species in the United States and Canada — what they are calling a “complete butterfly continent.” Biologists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center built an evolutionary tree to map the relationships between the 845 species and see how quickly new species formed. They reclassified 40 species and suggested regroupings of several at the genus level.

Read more in Nature. And for a look at efforts to protect the monarch butterfly, watch for the January/February issue of The Wildlife Professional arriving soon.