Summer 2012 Depth of Field

Digital I.D. for Butterflies

A fleeting glimpse of an iridescent wing, a snapshot, or even a quick sketch. That may be all you need to accurately identify species of moths and butterflies, with help from a new interactive pattern recognition technology being developed at Oregon State University.

The Lepidoptera Wing Pattern Identification System (LepWing ID) uses color patterns on sections of the wing to search within a digital library of images, says Jeffrey Miller, an OSU entomologist who is creating the system with colleague Hans Luh. That’s good news for researchers, agricultural inspectors, and hobbyists alike. No butterfly net required.

Jeffrey C. Miller