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⚠️ Information and Updates Regarding COVID-19's Impact on the College of Agricultural Sciences

Paul Opler

Dr. Opler


011 Laurel Hall
970-667-8448 office
970-491-0490 lab




Research Interests:

My research involves a number of separate projects that relate to the systematics, genetics, biological diversity, distribution, and ecology of several groups of Lepidoptera.   I am actively investigating  the systematics of selected butterfly genera and species groups including both genetic and morphological characters. As part of the latter fieldwork I am collecting live butterflies in RNALater for later genomic sequencing. I also teach continuing education and extension workshops and summer classes. My current curatorial interests in the order Lepidoptera involve Geometridae and especially Lycaenidae. I am working on development that benefits the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity.

Selected Publications:

B. Proshek, J.R. Dupuis, A. Engberg, K. Davenport, P.A. Opler , J.A. Powell, and F.A.H. Sperling. 2015. Genetic evaluation of the evolutionary distinctness pf federally endangered butterfly, Lange’s Mettalmark. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2015, 15: 73.

Back, W., M.A. Miller, and P.A. Opler. 2011. Genetic, phenetic, and distributional relationships of Nearctic Euchloe (Pieridae, Pierinae, Anthocharidini). Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 65(1): 1-14.

Opler, P.A. 1999. Field Guide to Butterflies of Western North America. Roger Tory Peterson Series. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 540

Opler, P.A. 1974. Oaks as evolutionary islands for leaf-mining insects. American Scientist 62: 67-73.

Opler, P.A. 1973. Fossil lepidopterous leaf mines demonstrate the age of some insect-plant relationships. Science 179(4080):

Powell, J.A. and P.A. Opler. 2009. Moths of western North America. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. ISBN 0-520-25197-0.

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