News 9 - July 25, 2023 6:31 am

A monarch butterfly sipping nectar from swamp milkweed flower.

The United States Geological Survey is calling on residents of several states, including Oklahoma, to send in dead butterflies, moths and skippers for a scientific study.

The USGS is establishing a Lepidoptera Research Collection to identify contaminants and environmental factors that may contribute to the decline of insect populations.

The deadline for sending in specimen is November 1, 2023.

“There are some questions that can’t effectively be answered without help from a lot of people. It’s what makes citizen science so special and valuable,” said Julie Dietze, USGS scientist-in-charge of the effort. “Collections like this one are important because they have the potential to provide scientists now, and 20 years from now, access to specimens. Without the specimens it will be far more difficult to answer questions related to contaminants and environmental health.”

The Environment Organic Chemistry unit of the USGS, located in Kansas, will be looking at the occurence of antibiotics, pesticides, hormones and mycotoxins in Lepidoptera.

Specimens can be mailed to:


1217 Biltmore Drive

Lawrence, KS 66049

USGS Flier


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