The Australian satin moths and the art of taxonomy
This is an illustrated talk by Dr Catherine Byrne, TMAG Senior Curator of Zoology.
The insect taxonomist’s toolkit has changed over the last few hundred years. Although descriptions of body shape, colour and pattern are still very important, internal anatomical features such as genitalia are now routinely used to separate species, and even more recently, subtle differences in gene sequences are recruited to tell us about evolutionary relationships.
The classification of the beautiful, iconic Australian satin moths are a case in point. This talk will explain how new species are often right under our noses in collections and will take the listener through the intricate steps of new species taxonomic descriptions.
Cathy will bring along a display of moths complete with a microscope to look at specimens more closely. She will also have one of her portable moth traps on display.
This is a great opportunity to hear from one of TMAG’s prominent scientists, and gaze through a microscope at these beautiful objects of her study.