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Recalling Remington, Butterfly and Moth Expert

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Recalling Remington, Butterfly and Moth Expert

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Recalling Remington, Butterfly and Moth Expert

Recalling Remington, Butterfly and Moth Expert

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This Father's Day, host Debbie Elliott has a remembrance of the father of modern lepidoptery. Yale professor Charles Lee Remington was one of the world's foremost experts on butterflies and moths. He died last month at the age of 85.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Debbie Elliott.

This Father's Day, we take a moment to remember the father of modern lepidoptery - that's the study of moths and butterflies. Charles Lee Remington, a founder of the Lepidopterist Society and long-time professor at Yale died last month. Remington studied insects of all stripes, but his true loves were butterflies and moths.

He spent his childhood chasing butterflies with his father, a fellow collector. And during the Second World War he served as a medical entomologist, hunting down bugs in the Pacific. One night in the Philippines, Remington was bitten by an eight-inch long centipede that had crawled into his bed. Being a true scientist, he caught it, preserved it and wrote a paper on it.

After the war, Remington did graduate work at Harvard. While there, he made friends with another famous butterfly chaser, Vladimir Nabokov. Before he penned ´┐ŻLolita,´┐Ż he was curating a butterfly collection at one of Harvard's museums.

Dr. Remington joined the department of zoology at Yale in 1948 and spent the next 44 years there, teaching courses on ecology, evolution, bioethics and endangered species. As the curator of Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History, he put together one of the world's largest collections of insects with more than a million specimens.

Charles Lee Remington was 85.

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