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National Insect Week is HERE

Butterflies & moths

ORDER: LEPIDOPTERA

(Ancient Greek - lepis = scale ; pteron = wing)

The most easily recognised garden insects, herbivorous larvae (caterpillars) feed on plants, adult feed on nectar through a long proboscis

Insects in this order

  • Red admiral

    © Jenny Bailey Red Admiral butterfly, Vanessa atalanta , on Mahonia, Commended 2012 NIW Photography Competition adult category The wings of butterflies and moths are covered with many tiny scales, which are pigmented or iridescent, creating attractive and distinctive patterns of colour that...
  • Riband Wave Moth

    © Colin Rew Idaea aversata There are almost 2000 different moth species in Britain, rather more than the 50 to 60 butterflies. Moths are mostly nocturnal, but some species are day-flying and often brightly coloured. The Riband Wave Moth is a common moth species throughout Britain...

Did you know?

Sexiest

Female water snipe flies Atherix ibis clasp each other and cluster in big round aggregations on the end of branches overhanging rivers – males entering the swarms are mated repeatedly until they die. The females then lay their eggs in to the water – and all die still in their tight aggregations.