Our project "Using web-content for the assessment of macroecological patterns in butterfly-hostplant associations at a global scale", was awarded with a 2013 Rubenstein Research Fellowship from the Encyclopedia of Life.
Our task is to gather all available information about butterfly-hostplant associations, and explore emerging patterns from this data-set. We will have to deal with a series of challenges and questions, before we can even begin with the data analysis: is there enough data available?, how can it be compiled and compared?, how accurate is the data from secondary resources?
Butterflies is allegedly one of the better studied and better known groups of insects, yet there are many lacunae in our knowledge about them. There have been many initiatives to create a digital compilation of all available data, information and knowledge of butterflies, but none has reached the final (utopic?) goals: global participation of interested lepidopterists (profesional and enthusiasts), completeness in coverage and up-to-date content.
Our compilation will be small contribution, but we hope that such contributions will continue to add up, and help to reach a critical mass to create a really global butterfly information system