Doctor donates massive butterfly collection to U of U museum

May 7 2012 - 9:27am

Images

The late James Pearce, a Salt Lake City physician, has collected thousands of butterflies dating back to his childhood In this 2005 file photo he displays a favorite species, Morpho cyrpis. The Pearce family has donated his 16,000-specimen collection to the Natural History Museum of Utah. (Courtesy of Andrew Weeks)
The late James Pearce, a Salt Lake City physician, has collected thousands of butterflies dating back to his childhood In this 2005 file photo he displays a favorite species, Morpho cyrpis. The Pearce family has donated his 16,000-specimen collection to the Natural History Museum of Utah. (Courtesy of Andrew Weeks)

SALT LAKE CITY -- A local doctor's collection of roughly 16,000 butterflies has been donated to a museum at the University of Utah.

The family of Dr. James Pearce donated the collection Saturday to the Natural History Museum of Utah after his recent death.

KSL reports Pearce gathered butterflies for 50 years on his travels in Utah and around the world.

Museum spokeswoman Christie Bills says the collection will provide insight into Utah's butterfly population and how it has changed in recent decades.

Pearce was meticulous with his hobby, writing down the date and area where each butterfly was found.

His widow, Virginia Pearce, says he loved nature and began collecting butterflies as a boy.

 

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