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A New Group of Butterflies Has Been Named After the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Villain

A team of international researchers has discovered nine new groups of butterflies, including one genus with unique wing patterns that led to its name, Saurona, inspired by the Eye of Sauron from J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" series. The distinctive orange rings encircling black-and-white eyespots on the hindwings of this group stood out, prompting the researchers to choose the name. The discovery of these new butterfly groups highlights the vast biodiversity on Earth that remains unknown to scientists. The study, which involved extensive DNA analysis and examination of museum collections, sheds light on the challenging taxonomy of Euptychiina butterflies. By naming the butterflies after a well-known cultural reference, the researchers aim to draw attention to the importance of biodiversity preservation and raise awareness about the loss of these species.

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Photo Credit: AARN GIRI

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