Butterflies and moths

The order Lepidoptera to which butterflies and moths belong to, contains more than 180,000 species, this is one of the most speciose orders in the world, with potentially thousands of species yet to be described.

Butterflies and moths are commonly characterised as having two large compound eyes, a proboscis and a long, segmented antennae. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured and complex-patterned wings. They have a graceful, fluttering flight and are mostly diurnal. Moths tend to be a little plainer in appearance and are mostly nocturnal.

Butterflies and moths are found in a large variety of habitats, but are almost always associated with flowering plants. They often serve an important ecological role as pollinators.

Butterflies and moths undergo complete metamorphism, consisting of an egg, larva, pupa, and adult phase. Larvae are commonly called caterpillars. Moth pupae are called cocoons and butterfly pupae are called chrysalises.