Guide to insects
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Last updated 08/15/2005
Insects of Coal Oil Point > Guide > Lepidoptera - Butterflies & Moths
Lepidoptera - Butterflies & Moths
The Lepidoptera is characterized by their scaly wings, which is what 'lepid-optera' means. While butterflies are much better known, they are vastly outnumbered by their moth relatives. The differences between these groups are often emphasized (butterflies being day-flying, brightly colored, and having knobbed antennae), but they share many more similarities. All develop from a plant-feeding caterpillar, which transforms into a pupa (or 'chrysalis' as the butterfly pupa is generally called) on its way to becoming a winged adult.
The butterfly fauna (25 species) of Coal Oil Point is well known thanks to the efforts of local enthusiast Nick Lethaby, who provided our species list. The moths at the Reserve have not been as well studied. Though we've collected many, the malaise trapped specimens are difficult to identify. Some additional moth-specific collecting will be needed to estimate their diversity.
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