Athens, Ga. – The Odum Gallery in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology will host “Cloud Forest Butterflies of Costa Rica,” an exhibition of butterflies collected by James W. Porter, associate dean and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor of ecology, from Nov. 3 through Dec. 1 with an opening reception on Nov. 3 at 4 p.m.
The collection was built at the UGA Costa Rica campus by Porter and his students, and features myriad butterfly wing shapes and the spectacular colors characteristic of butterflies from the New World Tropics. The UGA Costa Rica campus, a 155-acre property in Monteverde, includes classrooms, laboratories, residential facilities, and the San Luis Botanical Garden.
“UGA Costa Rica is proud to co-sponsor this exhibition in conjunction with our five year anniversary celebration this fall,” said Matt Stevens, assistant director of the program.”Of the now 22 annual programs run through UGA Costa Rica, tropical ecology has always been one of our core areas of study in Costa Rica.”
Porter explained that the diversity of the collection reflects the richness of species found in Costa Rica. “Costa Rica is only the size of West Virginia but contains five percent of the world’s biodiversity,” said Porter. “It has more plant and animal species per unit area than any other country on Earth. Twenty-five percent of Costa Rica is protected in national parks and conservation areas, the highest proportion of any nation.” The collection is especially rich in morpho butterflies, including the white morpho, and the Costa Rican King swallowtail, found only in the cloud forests surrounding Monteverde and San Luis.
The Odum Gallery in the School of Ecology offers periodic exhibits that explore the intersection of art and the natural sciences.