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Paul Opler

Dr. Opler


018 Hartshorn Building

C.P Gillette Museum
970-667-8448 office
970-491-0490 lab



Research Interests:

My research involves a number of separate projects that relate to the systematics, genetics, biological diversity, distribution, and ecology of several groups of Lepidoptera.   I am actively investigating  the systematics of selected butterfly genera and species groups including both genetic and morphological characters. As part of the latter fieldwork I am collecting live butterflies in RNALater for later genomic sequencing. I also teach continuing education and extension workshops and summer classes. My current curatorial interests in the order Lepidoptera involve Geometridae and especially Lycaenidae. I am working on development that benefits the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity.

Selected Publications:

2020. Conserve the eco-evolutionary dynamic, not the subspecies: phenological divergence and gene flow between temporal cohorts of Euphilotes ancilla endemic to southern Nevada. Conservation Genetics (2020), 28 pp. [Thompson, D.B., K. McKelvey, P. van Els, G. Andrews, P. Jacoby-Garrett, M. Glenn, C. Kallstrom, K. Pilgrim, and P.A. Opler].

2018. Drepanoidea, Doidae, and Noctuoidea, Notodontidae (part): Pygaerinae, Notodontinae, Cerurinae, Phalerinae, Periergosinae, Dudusinae, Hemiceratinae. In: Lafontaine, J.D. et al.. The Moths of America north of Mexico. Fascicle 22.1A, Wedge Entomological Research Foundation. Washington, D.C., 348 pp. [Miller, J.S., Wagner, D.L., Opler, P.A., and Lafontaine, J.D.] .

B. Proshek, J.R. Dupuis, A. Engberg, K. Davenport, P.A. Opler , J.A. Powell, and F.A.H. Sperling. 2015. Genetic evaluation of the evolutionary distinctness pf federally endangered butterfly, Lange’s Mettalmark. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2015, 15: 73.

Back, W., M.A. Miller, and P.A. Opler. 2011. Genetic, phenetic, and distributional relationships of Nearctic Euchloe (Pieridae, Pierinae, Anthocharidini). Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 65(1): 1-14.

Opler, P.A. 1999. Field Guide to Butterflies of Western North America. Roger Tory Peterson Series. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 540

Opler, P.A. 1974. Oaks as evolutionary islands for leaf-mining insects. American Scientist 62: 67-73.

Opler, P.A. 1973. Fossil lepidopterous leaf mines demonstrate the age of some insect-plant relationships. Science 179(4080):

Powell, J.A. and P.A. Opler. 2009. Moths of western North America. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. ISBN 0-520-25197-0.

Seltmann, K.C., Cobb, N.S., et al, including Opler, P.A. 2017. LepNet: The Lepidoptera of North America Network. Zootaxa

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