Project Psyche

Lepidopteran genomes for Europe

The goal of Project Psyche

Lepidoptera, i.e. butterflies and moths, are vital components of the global ecosystem. Project Psyche is a scientific research project established to sequence the genomes of all butterflies and moths of Europe; helping to conserve, protect and drive innovation.

Psyche is named after the Greek goddess of the soul – who was frequently depicted with butterfly wings and is renowned for her beauty.

Why Lepidoptera?

One tenth of all named species on planet Earth belong to the insect order Lepidoptera – the moths and butterflies. They are vital pollinators, herbivores and food sources for numerous species. They also serve as powerful indicator species for the health and conservation status of ecosystems.

Europe is home to some 11,000 species of Lepidoptera: from widespread pests of agricultural ecosystems, to rare and endangered species with limited distributions. We aim to produce a genome sequence for each species, enabling a step-change in our understanding of the biology and evolution of this group.

Join Psyche

We are seeking partners to be active in all stages of the project. Find out more and sign up via Participate.

Featured publication

Opsin Gene Duplication in Lepidoptera: Retrotransposition, Sex Linkage, and Gene Expression.

Mulhair et al. (2023) Molecular Biology and Evolution

More featured publications