Lepidoptera

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The Lepidoptera have, over millions of years, evolved a wide range of wing patterns and coloration ranging from drab moths akin to the related order Trichoptera , to the brightly colored and complex-patterned butterflies. [1] Accordingly, this is the most recognized and popular of insect orders with many people involved in the observation, study, collection, rearing of, and commerce in these insects. A person who collects or studies this order is referred to as a lepidopterist .

Disclaimer : Dedicated naturalists volunteer their time and resources here to provide this service. We strive to provide accurate information, but we are mostly just amateurs attempting to make sense of a diverse natural world. If you need expert professional advice, contact your local extension office .

Characteristics This is one of the most well known and easily recognisable orders of insects and contains about 21 000 species in Australia. Moths and butterflies are grouped together in the order Lepidoptera, which means 'scaly wings'. Below are the main characteristics of butterflies and moths.

Lycaenidae is the second-largest family of butterflies (behind Nymphalidae , brush-footed butterflies), with over 6,000 species worldwide, [1] whose members are also called gossamer-winged butterflies . They constitute about 30% of the known butterfly species.

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