A lepidopterist or aurelian is a person who specialises in the study of Lepidoptera, members of an order encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies. The term also includes hobbyists who are not formal scholars, who catch, collect, study, or simply observe lepidopterans.
Post-Renaissance, the rise of the "lepidopterist" can be attributed to the expanding interest in science, nature and the surroundings. When Linnaeus wrote the tenth edition of the Systema Naturae in 1758, there was already "a substantial body of published work on Lepidopteran natural history" (Kristensen, 1999).
- Insectorum sive Minimorum Animalium Theatrum – Thomas Mouffet (1634)
- Metamorphosis Naturalis – Jan Goedart (1662–67 )
- Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium – Maria S. Merian (1705), whose work included illustrated accounts of European Lepidoptera
- Historia Insectorum – John Ray (1710)
- Papilionum Brittaniae icones – James Petiver (1717)
- Hverven, in the film The Happy House (2013)
- Stapleton, in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
- The father, Ben, in the TV series Butterflies
- The character Red Jack, who claimed to be both Jack the Ripper and God, in the comic book Doom Patrol
- The character Judge Holden in Cormac McCarthy's novel Blood Meridian.
- Stein in the novel Lord Jim
- Ada in Vladimir Nabokov's Ada has dreams as a young girl of being a lepidopterist on the fictional planet 'anti-terra'. (Nabokov himself was an accomplished lepidopterist.)
- The character Frederick Clegg in the novel The Collector (1962) by John Fowles, also made into a film (1965) directed by William Wyler.
- Mr. Doe and Mr. Cardholder of the Venture Bros. who contact Jonas Venture Jr. at Spider Skull Island, to deal with The Monarch, a character with a butterfly theme.
- Jame Gumb, the main antagonist in the novel and film The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris.
- M in On Her Majesty's Secret Service[clarification needed].
- Blue's late mother in Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.
- "lepidopterist". (n.d.). In Dictionary Definitions. Retrieved November 30, 2010, from http://www.yourdictionary.com/lepidopterist.
- "Home page of "lepidopterist.org"". Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- Kristensen, Niels P. (1999). "Historical Introduction". In Kristensen, Niels P. Lepidoptera, moths and butterflies: Evolution, Systematics and Biogeography. Volume 4, Part 35 of Handbuch der Zoologie:Eine Naturgeschichte der Stämme des Tierreiches. Arthropoda: Insecta. Walter de Gruyter. p. 1. ISBN 978-3-11-015704-8. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- "Excerpts from A Guide to Nabokov's Butterflies and Moths". Pennsylvania State University Library. Retrieved 17 March 2011.