Ehrlich, Paul R. Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Vane-Wright, Richard I. Biogeography and Conservation Laboratory, Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom.
- Developmental Stages
- Homoneurous moths
- Biological Aspects
- Ecology and distribution
- Behavior and physiology
- Evolution and genetics
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The order of scaly-winged insects, including the butterflies, skippers, and moths. One of the largest orders in the class Insecta, the Lepidoptera include over 150,000 known species (of which about 10,000 occur in North America) divided among more than 100 families (Fig. 1). The adults have a covering of hairs and flattened setae (scales) on the wings, legs, and body, and are often beautifully colored. With minor exceptions, the adults are also characterized by two pairs of membranous wings, and sucking mouthparts that feature a prominent coiled proboscis. This feeding apparatus is formed from a pair of specially elongated and grooved lobes, the galeae (a mouthpart), that are closely joined along their length to make a flexible tube. Adults having a proboscis (the vast majority) can take only liquid food, such as nectar and juices of fruits. Butterflies and skippers usually fly in the daytime, while most moths are nocturnal. The caterpillars are almost always herbivorous and chew their food like a grasshopper or beetle. See also: Insecta
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information