What is a butterfly ?

Butterflycorner.net is a homepage about butterflies. But, what exactly is a butterfly?  Is there an explicit definition for butterflies, which you can use in the meadow or in the forest?

This article will be clear these questions. We want to understand the body-composition of the butterflies, where is their place in the tree of life and how we can identify a butterfly.

Butterflies are insects

In the tree of life the butterflies are a part of the biggest class. This class named INSECTA contains the insects. All members of this class have the following body-attributes

OK, now we know what an insect is. But, are we saddle-fast?

Here is a small check. Which of the following photos shows an insect?

Image.1 photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 30.07.06
Image.2 photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 23.07.06
Image.3 photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 23.06.06
Image.4 photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 23.07.06
Image.5 photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 14.05.06
Image.6 photo © by Thomas Neubauer; 30.07.06

Now we are experts.

The body-attributes of a butterfly in detail

The head:

The thorax:

The abdomen:

Here you can see everything at a glance.

Drawing © by Thomas Neubauer

The subdivision of Lepidopteran

The order LEPIDOPTERAN contains over 140 000 species. Only approximately 20 000 are diurnal butterflies or simply butterflies. The bigger part are moths. But, moths can also fly at day.
The question is. How we can discriminate between butterflies and moths?
But the answer of  this question you will find in an other article.
Read more: Butterly or moth ?


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