What Does Lepidoptera Mean?


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Lepidoptera is the name given to a vast category of insects with scaly wings, including butterflies and moths. Adult Lepidoptera are characterised by two pairs of wings that are membranous in nature and a distinct proboscis that is coiled.

This order includes over 180,000 species spread over 127 families. Lepidoptera is the ranks second in size (to the Coleoptera; beetles) in the class Insecta. An individual who studies this particular order or group is a Lepidopterist.

Lepidopterans go through a full metamorphosis in a life-cycle that is composed of four stages: Larva, Caterpillar, Chrysalis and Adult. Lepidopteran larvae can be distinguished by the existence of prolegs which cannot be found in the sawflies (Symphtya). Few of this species of caterpillar are carnivorous, majority being herbivorous.

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