Alexander Dantchenko, an entomologist at the Moscow State University, and Vladimir Lukhtanov, a biologist at the Zoological Institute in St. Petersburg, discovered a brand new butterfly species they are calling the South-Russian blue.
This new species was found in the northern reaches of the Caucasus mountains in the south of Russia. What makes the South-Russian blue so incredible is that it has 46 chromosomes, just like humans do, which is very unusual.
Lukhtanov and Dantchenko have been researching butterflies in the Caucasus for decades and thanks to their techniques have been able to ascertain the uniqueness of their find through DNA sequencing.
The scientists have learned that genetically similar caterpillars are eating on similar, but different plants, and are using those details to help discover and preserve new butterfly species in the areas of the country they study.