- Thursday, May 24, 2012
The following information is compiled from our April 2012 lecture on butterflies and butterfly gardening.
BUTTERFLY GARDENING IN TEXAS
A little butterfly trivia:
Butterflies are in the order Lepidoptera. This is the second largest group of insects.
Lepidoptera contains about 165,000 different species of which 20,000 are butterflies and the remaining 145,000 are moths.
The word Lepidoptera comes from the Greek meaning scale-winged. Butterflies and moths have thousands of tiny, brilliantly-colored scales covering their wings.
The greatest diversity of Lepidopterans is found in the tropics.
Butterflies got there name from European farmers who called them butter colored flies.
As we know they come in all sizes and colors other than yellow. The tiny Pigmy Blue of North America is hardly more than .5 inches across while the Papua New Guinea’s Queen Alexandra Birdwing measures 11 inches wingtip to wingtip.
More than 200 species of butterflies migrate.
Lepidoptera fossils date back as far as 30 million years.