Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) have recreated a real butterfly in the lab by crossing two other species of butterflies. This phenomenon, which is quite rare, is known as hybrid speciation. What is more surprising is that the hybrid butterfly has been created in just three generations of lab crosses. And BBC News tells us that the new butterfly species is a viable one, with its specific wing patterns which "make them undesirable as mates for members of their parent species." In fact, this hybridization, which occurred without any changes to the chromosome number, could mean that it is an important factor in the origin of new animal species. Read more for many additional references and a comparison of wing patterns between hybrids and wild butterflies."