Utah Lepidopterists' Society

Founded 6 Nov 1976

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Jacque Wolfe Donates Entire Collection of 9,000 Butterflies & Moths to the Utah Museum of Natural History!!

Jacque Wolfe answers questions from one of the hundreds of participants during his butterfly exhibition at the Utah Museum of Natural History on Saturday, February 21, 2004. Utah Museum of Natural History Collections Manager, Christy Bills entertaining guests during the exhibition.


In early November, 2003, Utah collector Jacque Wolfe met with Utah Museum of Natural History Entomology Collections Manager Christy Bills for the first time in her office.  Jacque established an immediate rapport with Christy as he helped her identify some difficult species of Utah Speyeria as well as introduced her to a unique alternative butterfly mounting technique he learned from Jack Harry utilizing small magnets and strips as opposed to quilting pins.  

Little did Christy know that one of the purposes of Jacque's visit was to acquaint himself with the museum staff in order to assess the possibility of donating his entire collection there.

After subsequent visits to the museum, and after the cordial nature of Christy and the museum staff, Jacque's concerns with security were properly addressed and he decided to go ahead and donate his entire collection to the museum.  

Donating his collection to a reputable museum provided a win-win both for the UMNH as well as Jacque because it allowed the museum to greatly enhance the variety of butterfly species available to the public while at the same time allowing Jacque to obtain more room for his already full apartment.  

Because Jacque is still very much active in his collecting and extensive rearing projects, he still plans to use the majority of his living room for that purpose during these next summer months.  However, there will be a lot more space now in his bedroom where his mounted butterflies used to be stored.

Another advantage for Jacque is that the museum is relatively close which allows him to drop by from time to time to donate more spread specimens or to look at data/specimens that are already housed at the museum.  

Soon after Jacque decided to donate his collection to the museum,  members of the museum decided to inform the local media of the donation and create a media day allowing the public to view Jacque's collection on Saturday, February 21, 2004 from 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

As a result of the announcement, during the week of February 16th, Jacque was interviewed by KSL TV, KUTV, The Deseret Morning News, The Salt Lake Tribune, and the Daily Utah Chronicle--not to mention the Utah Museum of Natural History.

The butterfly exhibit drew far more than even the museum had hoped for.  It is estimated that the number of people who attended was approximately 640 people including ULS member Steve Sommerfeld and Todd Stout who were there to support Jacque and the ULS.  

All in all it was an enjoyable experience for Jacque, Christy, and all those at the museum who put the exhibit together.

Todd Stout--Webmaster


Some of the hundreds of participants of the Jacque Wolfe Butterfly Exhibit

All images of Limenitis weidemeyeri on the ULS Info Bar courtesy Jay Cossey

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