Roger Guard’s butterfly legacy goes to state museum

THE family of an avid butterfly collector is passing his legacy onto the people of Queensland.

Renowned Toowoomba doctor Roger Guard, who died in the MH17 Malaysian Airline tragedy, amassed a collection of butterflies and moths from across Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The naturalist also bred butterflies.

His son Paul Guard said the family was donating his collection to the Queensland Museum.

About 1500 moths and 800 butterflies will now be pored over by researchers and admired by the general public.

Paul said his father would have wanted the valuable collection to be put to good use.

BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES: Paul Guard with Susan Wright, Entomology Collection Manager at the Queensland Museum. The Guard family is donating Roger Guard's butterfly collection to the museum.
BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES: Paul Guard with Susan Wright, Entomology Collection Manager at the Queensland Museum. The Guard family is donating Roger Guard's butterfly collection to the museum. Nev Madsen

"As kids growing up we saw him breeding butterflies in the backyard and helped him with that, which was good fun."

Paul said the collection, particularly the moths, would be useful to researchers.

"Most people who collect butterflies focus on the prettier specimens, but dad had a more scientific interest and collected small and ordinary-looking moths.

Queensland Museum collection manager for entomology Susan Wright said the collection would be of interest to researchers for hundreds of years.

She said given that only 40% of Australia's insects were known, it was likely that a new species could be identified


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