Blanca Huertas discovered the species, together with two colleagues, on a Conservation Leadership Programme-funded biological expedition in a remote mountain in Colombia in 2005. However, she did not notice it was an undescribed species until she found other specimens in the Natural History Museum collections, also from Colombia but caught in 1920.
The discovery was confirmed by detailed studies of its unusually hairy mouthparts, different to other related species. This butterfly belongs to the genus Splendeuptychia and has been called Splendeuptychia ackeryi in honour of Phil Ackery, the former Collection Manager of the butterfly collections at the Natural History Museum. The description of the “Magdalena Valley Ringlet” was published in the scientific journal Zootaxa in February 2009.
Major oil spill destroys wildlife in Colombian reserve: here.