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The term Lepidoptera has been invented by Linnaeus in 1735 and is derived from the Ancient Greek words for lepido (scale) and ptera (wings) . It is one of the most widespread insect orders of the world. Its species are characterized by their two pairs of membranous wings that are covered with flattened hairs (scales) - except a few genera of wingless moths - large compound eyes , one eyespot (ocelli) above each eye, mouthparts formed into a sucking tube (haustellum) and antennae varying from long and slender to generally feathered.



September draws them through her sunny skies
Along the magic wave line of the shore,
Those feathered dreams that men call butterflies,
To heny cups not known to them before.
Their veined but fragile wings do not display
The strange endurance furthering their flight.
Unhampered by the subtle breeze each day
They hover over meadows and alight
In mass communication, quaffing of the mead
That gives them strength for yet another mile,
Forming bouquets on each enticing weed
Which lends itself as altar for a while,
Then flutter on, their tattered wings the toll
Of constant struggle toward the longed for goal.

Katherine Hunn Karsner
Westtown, Penna., U.S.A.



fossil A fossilized butterfly






Why another butterfly website? While browsing the Internet it became clear to me that most butterfly websites were either incomplete or they were inconsistant in their namegiving. The goal of this website is to give an extensive oversight of the thousands and thousands of moths and butterflies and their place in taxonomy.

The order Lepidoptera consists of four suborders which are mentioned at the top of this page. Clicking one of these suborders will lead you further into the butterfly tree of life. Although far from complete this site has enough content to keep you busy for a while. My intent is to update this site weekly by adding additional data and further optimize the site.

help wanted

The menu at the left of this page speaks for itself but a little explanation may help you navigate this site.


The starting page of this website


An overview of the development of this site


All pages in a logical order


Background of the author


Email addresses of the author


Links to several butterfly related websites


Statement of the author and links to contributers

help wanted



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