JD Turner fieldwork

JD Turner collects riodinid butterflies in the field.

Jon “J.D.” Turner is a retired cardiologist who practiced in the Huntsville, Ala., area from 1979 until 2010. His lifelong interest in Lepidoptera was revitalized in 1988, when he once again began taking research field trips. He has conducted field studies in Central and South America, Irian Jaya, Madagascar, Russia and the Solomon Islands. He also has studied hill-topping behavior of swallowtail butterflies in Tennessee and diversity and behavior of metalmark butterflies (Riodinidae), and recorded the heartbeat of butterflies and moths using a Doppler transducer (normally used to measure coronary artery blood flow in humans). His field work on metalmark butterflies includes long-term behavioral studies, with his voucher specimens for these and his molecular phylogenetics studies added to the Museum collections. Turner has conducted field work and collaborated with a number of professional lepidopterists, including Thomas Emmel, Jason Hall, Daniel Janzen, Andrei Sourakov, Andy Warren, Keith Willmott and the late George Austin. Since the 1990s he has been highly active in rainforest conservation efforts, particularly in Rondônia, Brazil, and supported the Schaus Swallowtail endangered species project in south Florida.

Turner currently works as a senior research associate and curator of Riodinidae at the McGuire Center. In addition to curating Riodinidae, he plans to continue his behavioral studies of metalmark butterflies. His recent field work has included faunal surveys in Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras and Isla de Cedros in Mexico. Turner wants to increase the amount of time he spends in the field both inside and outside the United States, and hopes to continue participating in faunal survey projects.


Currently at the McGuire Center

Jon D. Turner is a senior research associate and curator of Riodinidae at the McGuire Center.


Metalmark butterfly, Rhetusperiander, Ecuador