13 April, 2013

A To Z Challenge: Lepidopterology And Lepidopterans

Lepidopterology is the study of the order Lepidoptera, which includes moths and butterflies. It's a branch of entomology and, in turn, zoology and biology. The name originates from the Latin words "lepido", or scale, and "ptera", or wings. It refers to the fine scale-like materials that cover a lepidopteran's wings. There are over 100,000 species (perhaps as high as 174,000 depending on who you cite) and there is no technical difference between moths and butterflies--only some moths are nocturnal, with the rest being closely related to their "butterfly" counterparts.

I was going to continue with the recent discovery of the history of pygmy moths, but then I decided hey, it's the weekend, and I just gave you guys a complicated post yesterday about patenting genes and upcoming court cases. How about enjoying some pictures of lepidopterans instead. If you do want to know about pygmy moths (some named after Casanova and the Minotaur) the link is above.

All images here are public domain, found either on Pixabay or Wikimedia Commons.

Please excuse all the whitespace. I'd have added a third image, but Blogger won't let me put anything except text here.




What's your favorite butterfly or moth? Do any lepidopterans flit around where you live?

-----The Golden Eagle


C. Lee McKenzie said...

So beautiful. Thank you for the pictures of these gorgeous creatures.

Have you seen the Crecopia? Somehow one found its way to our house. It was huge (a wing span of over 5") and we had no idea what it was until later.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

They really do come in every color and pattern.
And hey Golden - you just hit 1100 followers. Congratulations!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Stunning pics, Golden!

The monarch on the hydrangea is particularly stunning!

Thanks for views of these lovely creatures...

M Pax said...

My cats love moths. We're inundated with them here every summer... billions of them.

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

I just had a flashback to "The Silence of the Lambs."

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

We have tons of butterflies around our house probably because of all the flowers we have planted and the small wet area between us and the neighbor.

Laura said...

fabulous! I had an elephant hawk moth in my room - it was incredible!

Karen Tamara said...

Beautiful pics. Very cool. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Pat Hatt said...

Wow over 100,000 that sure is quite the amount.

Nick Wilford said...

Amazing how much diversity there is in these. I like the ones with the big eyes on the wings (don't know what they're called) - it's to intimidate I think?

Tyrean Martinson said...

Beautiful pics! I don't think I have a favorite.

Mark Means said...

Very cool pics and it sounds like a very interesting field of study.

Trisha F said...

Awesome post! I think moths and butterflies are just such amazing-looking creatures. I love the moths that have the furry feelers.

Cindy Dwyer said...

I didn't know there wasn't a difference between moths and butterflies!

Ari said...

Per usual, your A-Z challenge is teaching me so much! Thanks for all the tid-bits of knowledge. Also, I am loving the butterfly pictures!

JeffO said...

Every time I see a butterfly making headway in a strong wind, I am amazed.

Charles Gramlich said...

Such fragile beauties. Lana and I saw some gorgeous blue and black ones yesterday.

Elaine Smith said...

Diversity and beauty, there is so much to wonder over in nature. I have to see the Casanova butterfly -that would have to be a particularly showy specimen. ;)

Deb Betz said...

Beautiful photos!
I did not know how similar butterflies and moths were. Thanks for teaching me something new!


Jagoda said...

Gorgeous photos. I remember how surprised I was to learn that to attract butterflies to your yard, you have to plant not only the nectar flower adults enjoy, but also those the babies--caterpillars--need.

Maria Dunn said...

Beautiful photos. I love butterflies and have peripherally studied the monarch with some local experts who monitor their migration. Thanks for expanding our knowledge. God bless, Maria from Delight Directed Living

DWei said...

Afraid I don't enough about butterflies or moth to have a favorite. :(

Ida Chiavaro said...

It's hard to have a favourite, I always suspected moths and butterflies were the same, now I know. An old lady once told me that moths are spirits visiting us. I always think of her when I see a moth :)

Elise Fallson said...

Love, Love, Love, this post. (:

Mark Noce said...

Butterflies get all the press...I didn't realize how beautiful moths could be:)

The Golden Eagle said...

Lee: You're welcome!

I've never heard of it. Just looked it up--what a gorgeous creature!

Alex: Thank you. :) I've been waiting for that number for a while . . . nice to finally reach it!

Michael Di Gesu: Glad you enjoyed the photographs!

I liked that particular image as well.

Mary: Billions! Wow.

Michael Offutt: I need to read that book. Speaking of Hannibal Lecter, have you watched the recent NBC series?

Susan: That's cool! We had monarchs and swallowtails where we used to live; they were so fun to watch.

Laura: It would be nice to see one of those up close.

Karen: You're welcome. :)

Pat: Yup! I read on one site that Lepidoptera is the second-largest insect order.

Nick: And/or confuse an attacker that the eyes are in location they're not--thereby saving the lepidopteran's actual head.

Tyrean: Glad you liked them!

Mark: I could probably spend years looking at lepidopterans. :)

Trisha: They're fascinating!

Cindy: Not a strict scientific one, anyway.

Ari: You're very welcome!

JeffO: It's amazing how well they can fly given how flimsy their wings are.

Charles: Love the sound of those!

Elaine: LOL. It actually has to do with small, invisible-to-the-human-eye features.

Deb: You're welcome. I'm happy to inform!

Jagoda: I didn't know that, either. Interesting!

Maria: It must have been really neat to study them up close. I've only admired monarchs from a distance.

DWei: I haven't explored the field extensively, either.

Ida: Aw, that's a wonderful thought. :)

Elise: :D

Mark: I love looking at them as much as butterflies.

Deniz Bevan said...

Gorgeous photos! I've been even more excited by lepidopterology since I started volunteering transcribing Russel Wallace's letters...

The Golden Eagle said...

Deniz: That sounds like such a cool project!

Banker Chick said...

My mom loved butterflies and many times when we are walking in MO, I see them and say Hi Mom. Your pictures are beautiful.
Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

Deniz Bevan said...

If you like, you can sign up too!

Paul Tobin said...

Lovely photos of the moths.

The Golden Eagle said...

Katie: Aw, that sounds like a wonderful memory.

I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

Deniz: Maybe I will!

Paul: I thought they were neat, too.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi GE - thanks for the link to pixbay .. and I love butterflies and moths - they're amazing ..

As Alex noted - great news re your 1100 plus followers!

Cheers Hilary