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A lepidopterist or aurelian is a person who specialises in the study of Lepidoptera, members of an order encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies. The term also includes hobbyists who are not formal scholars, who catch, collect, study, or simply observe lepidopterans.
Post-Renaissance, the rise of the "lepidopterist" can be attributed to the expanding interest in science, nature and the surroundings. When Linnaeus wrote the tenth edition of the Systema Naturae in 1758, there was already "a substantial body of published work on Lepidopteran natural history" (Kristensen, 1999).