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Butterflies & Moths

There are around 52,000 specimens of butterflies and moths in the Lepidoptera collection and they represent about 3,000 different species. The majority are British, but the museum also has a spectacular variety of 'exotic' specimens.

Most of the collection comprises of donations of a thousand specimens or more from just seven collectors, the most important of which are Daltry and Greenwood.

Harold Daltry was born in Madeley, Staffordshire in 1887. On retirement from a career as a designer of locomotives, he settled in Rugby, Warwickshire, where he lived until his death in 1962. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society in 1929 and later a member of the Society for British Entomology. His collection consists of insects, and Lepidoptera of British micro and macrolepidoptera comprising 15,219 specimens, all with data and accompanied by detailed notebooks. The microlepidoptera collection is particularly noteworthy.

Dr Greenwood donated a very large and extremely significant collection comprising around 5,000 British macro and micromoths and about 10,000 exotic butterflies, many from South and Central America, all with full data.
A series of notebooks and a detailed daily diary of moth-trapping accompanied the collection when it was bequeathed to the Museum in 1990. Although Greenwood travelled to South America and collected specimens himself, it appears from the accompanying effects to the collection that much of the exotic material was purchased by Greenwood and imported with the data, to his home in Pailton, Warwickshire.