Butterflies are a significant attraction in Costa Rica and today they are making history.
At the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), a dry forest, the different species of butterflies will be properly identified and inventoried in a library after having a full analysis on the information contained in their DNA.
This is a project that has been dedicated to collecting samples from all butterflies of the area (ACG) in order to extract the DNA information held and define more precise profiles. This project is led by Daniel Janzen who is an ecologist from United States that resides in the country and has put all his dedication to it.
In most of the cases, butterflies have been classified according to their physical features but not necessarily according to their genetic composition, and the data extracted from the genetic material will allow scientists accurately determine the biological group in which each individual belongs in order to classify butterflies according to its genetic composition.
The analysis will make possible to know the real amount of species in the area.
Along with the butterflies, the scientifics have been studying samples of caterpillars and plants that host the butterflies.
The explanation says that each butterfly is classify with a number, and a leg is taken away to codify it according to the individual it belongs. Then it is sent to a lab in Canada where the DNA is read.
This way the library will have a copy of each collected individual with its respective genetic coding, geographical coordinates where it was collected, the family, gender and specie to which it belongs.
Scientists plan to make the process of identifying butterflies dynamic and perfect.
For this, they will use the genetic information, which is unique and exclusive for each of the species that live on Earth, and generate a bar code for each of the butterfly species.
The main purpose of this project is the different field applications that it gives.
One example is when a crop is attacked by a plague the farmer can identify just by observing the insect that is causing the damage; however, if the insect is identify through its barcode it will be easier to know the accurate name, specie and other features. This will help to solve the plague problem with the right products.
This is just one project for Costa Rica history. A last minute travel deal to Costa Rica is the perfect idea to follow the project closer.