KWP Lepidoptera Collection (Arctos)
Latest version published by University of Alaska Museum of the North on 24 November 2021 University of Alaska Museum of the North

Kenelm W. Philip Lepidoptera collection,includes the Alaska Lepidoptera Survey (ALS) collection. ALS was a citizen science initiative lead by Dr. Philip that was active from 1970 to 2014 and included over 600 people. 90% of the KWP pinned collection (~43,200 specimens) will be transferred to the NMNH in August 2018.

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Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 0 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

  • Occurrence (core)
  • Multimedia 

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 0 records in English (6 kB) - Update frequency: monthly
Metadata as an EML file download in English (12 kB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (9 kB)

The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Sikes D (2021): KWP Lepidoptera Collection (Arctos). v1.55. University of Alaska Museum of the North. Dataset/Occurrence.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is University of Alaska Museum of the North. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 8539cd0e-f762-11e1-a439-00145eb45e9a.  University of Alaska Museum of the North publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.


Occurrence; Specimen; Occurrence


Who created the resource:

Derek Sikes
Curator of Insects
University of Alaska Museum
907 Yukon Dr
99775 Fairbanks

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Derek Sikes
Curator of Insects
University of Alaska Museum
907 Yukon Dr
99775 Fairbanks

Who filled in the metadata:

Derek Sikes
Curator of Insects
University of Alaska Museum
907 Yukon Dr
99775 Fairbanks

Who else was associated with the resource:

Laura Russell
David Bloom
John Wieczorek
Information Architect
Geographic Coverage

Eastern Russia, Alaska, western Canada, (aka Beringia)

Bounding Coordinates South West [52.696, -129.551], North East [72.502, 151]
Taxonomic Coverage

Lepidoptera, primarily butterflies

Order  Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Temporal Coverage
Start Date / End Date 1900-01-01 / 2013-01-01
Project Data

In 1970, Dr. Philip established the Alaska Lepidoptera Survey, which would become the largest and longest running citizen science project in Alaska’s history. Based out of his private laboratory in Fairbanks, Dr. Philip mailed collecting kits along with a collapsible net and instructions to over 600 volunteers who promised to collect and send him specimens. The kits included ‘Station Sheets’, a template form to document the habitat in any locality where specimens were collected. Dr. Philip solicited help through the radio, public speeches and newspaper articles that ran statewide. These ALS specimens were combined with Dr. Philip's own specimens in the KWP collection.

Title KWP and ALS data
Identifier KWP-ALS
Funding Funding and logistical support for the Alaska Lepidoptera Survey was obtained through the Smithsonian, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology, the National Park Service, the National Geographic Society, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Department of Transportation. Funding for the digitization of the KWP collection was also provided by the National Science Foundation.
Study Area Description Eastern Russia, Alaska, western Canada (aka Beringia).

The personnel involved in the project:

Principal Investigator
Kenelm Philip
Point Of Contact
Kathryn Daly
Sampling Methods

Aerial net and black light traps were used to collect Lepidoptera. Some sites were repeatedly visited on multiple years, many were not.

Study Extent Eastern Russia, Alaska, western Canada (aka Beringia). Sampled during spring, summer (primarily), and fall.

Method step description:

  1. Specimens were stored initially in field envelopes, the KWP collection has 37,151 specimens stored within field envelopes; some were transferred to curated envelopes stored by collection event, (37,389 specimens), and some were mounted on pins and spread (49,636 specimens). Identifications were mostly by Kenelm Philip and Clifford Ferris (for moths). Georeferencing was initially performed by use of topographic maps. Post 2014 georeferencing was performed using Google Earth, GeoLocate, etc.
Collection Data
Collection Name KWP Lepidoptera Collection
Collection Identifier
Parent Collection Identifier
Specimen preservation methods Pinned,  Dried
Curatorial Units Count 127,973 +/- 0 specimens
Additional Metadata

The KWP collection was used to produce: Philip, K.W., Ferris, C.D. 2016. Butterflies of Alaska: A Field Guide. 2nd ed. Alaska Entomological Society. 110 pp. ISBN 978-1-945170-60-7.

Purpose The purpose of the KWP collection was primarily to understand the diversity fna distribution of butterflies in the Beringian region.
Maintenance Description Current (2014-2020) digitization efforts seek to create digital records for all specimens. Specimens are given a 2D Data Matrix barcode to link them to their digital records.
Alternative Identifiers 8539cd0e-f762-11e1-a439-00145eb45e9a