About animals

Butterfly order: reproduction, nutrition, structure and main subspecies


peacock-eye Artemis (Actias artemis), Far East

Detachment lepidoptera, or butterflies (Lepidoptera) belongs to the three largest orders of the class of insects (Insecta). According to modern estimates (as of 1997), it has at least 250,000 species known to science. Considering that as far back as 1974 this number was estimated at more than 150,000 species, we can expect that by 2017 no less than 350,000 species of butterflies will be known to science. Only in Russia are representatives of at least 84 families. Lepidoptera are insects with complete transformation: development proceeds to the stage of an egg, an erucoid (worm-shaped) larva-caterpillar, having several ages and molts between them, inactive, usually covered with a pupa and an adult insect, or adult. At the stage of the caterpillar, which has a developed gnawing mouth apparatus, the function of accumulation of organic substances is primarily responsible. The caterpillar usually has a well-developed head, 13-segmented torso with 3 pairs of pectoral legs and most often 5 pairs of ventral sucker-suckers. The stages of the imago, or adult butterfly, which, as a rule, has a sucking mouth apparatus (proboscis), are inherent mainly in the functions of settlement and reproduction. The detachment is characterized by the development in adults of two pairs of wings covered with scales - modified bristles. Flakes, due to the pigments contained in them or their optical structure, create an exceptional variety of colors and patterns on the wings.

The division of Lepidoptera into suborders has not yet been established, but most often they are divided into two suborders: Toothed (Zeugloptera) and Hobotkov (Glossata, or Haustellata). The first includes a small number of species of small moths, which belong to the family of Primary Toothed Moths (Micropterigidae), for which a gnawing mouth apparatus with large upper jaws (mandibles) is characteristic in adulthood. With their help, the butterfly polishes the pollen of plants, i.e. food similar in abundance of carbohydrates in its composition to nectar. The second includes all the other butterflies, which have a developed or, less often, underdeveloped proboscis, formed by two jag-shaped lower jaws (maxillae). When the last suborder is subdivided into large groups, asymmetry of divisions is also observed: for example, taxonomists usually distinguish a small group of primitive Lepidoptera, small butterflies belonging to the family of fine-worms (Hepialidae) and close to them, as well as some families of primitive moths. This group of butterflies (Micropterigidae, Hepialidae, Eriocraniidae) is characterized by almost equal in shape front and hind wings with an archaic venation system.

Along with the scientific classification, a practically convenient subdivision of butterflies into Micro-Lepidoptera, or lower butterflies (Microlepidoptera) and Macro-Lepidoptera, or higher (Macrolepidoptera) is also preserved in everyday life. The former include small and usually more primitive butterflies (numerous families of moths, leafworms and fireworms), the latter include all the other nocturnal, or dissimilar (Heterocera) and daytime, or club-moth (Rhopalocera). Identification of species from many families of butterflies is difficult and is available only to specialists. Moreover, it is often possible only with special preparation of the genitals (genitals) of males and females of butterflies.

Lycaena butterflies of the L.K. Albrecht memorial collectiona

Butterfly Collection Fund of the Scientific Research Zoological Museum of Moscow State University - a collection of international class. This is the second largest collection (after the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg) in Russia. It contains about 300 thousand defined, expanded, signed and systematically placed pins, and no less - in bags and cotton.

Especially valuable for the world zoological science are the so-called types (specimens that are international standards of species and subspecies). There are several hundred such instances in the butterfly collection.

The geography of the places in which the butterflies that were deposited in our museum were collected covers all corners of the planet inhabited by them. From the tundra-covered islands of arctic latitudes, deserts of Africa, the highlands of the Pamir and the Himalayas to distant Australia, the islands of Oceania, the richest species of tropical countries in South America, Africa, Southeast Asia. Many travelers who have been there have donated their butterfly collections to the museum. Of particular pride are copies and collections preserved in the museum to our time, which played an outstanding role in the history of zoology.

Butterflies from the collection of G. I. Fischer von Waldheim

This, for example, a number of copies of the beginning of the XIX century from the collection of the first director of the museum of the famous G.I. Fischer von Waldheim (1771–1853), individual butterflies collected by the tireless entomologist and traveler E.A. Eversmann (1794–1860). A true treasure is the collection of butterflies of a wonderful traveler to Central Asia A.P. Fedchenko (1784–1873), containing types of species, for the first time for science described from this region by the famous Russian entomologist N.G. Ershov (1837–1891).

The huge collection of museum butterflies was created by the efforts of many generations of entomologists, biologists of various profiles, and a wide range of nature lovers. Among them are many collectors, donors. This tradition continues. Over the past 20–25 years, the museum’s funds have replenished significantly. The number of butterflies in them increased by more than a third.

Of great value in the collection are specimens with definitive labels of specialists-lepidopterologists and other connoisseurs of butterflies that entered the museum at different times (K.M. Naumann from the Federal Republic of Germany for the family Zygaenidae, A.V. Kreitsberg for Papilionidae, V.P. Solyanikov for Psychidae , M.J. Bastelberger by South American Geometridae, a few scoop (Noctuidae), identified by I.V. Kozhanchikov, and many others). Exotic materials are separately placed in the museum’s fund, in order of the system, the club-shaped and dissimilar butterflies of Russia and neighboring territories are divided by type. Note that the museum’s fund also has entire collections of micro-lepidoptera, but they are limited in volume and the main attention is paid to replenishing the fund with macro-lepidoptera. This collection, the second largest in Russia after the academic one, is of considerable value both for determining other types of research of Lepidoptera and for checking at the current level the correctness of determination in numerous faunal publications of the past. Information on museum collections of Lepidoptera is also in high demand in multifaceted activities for the protection of insects and environmental monitoring.

Order Butterflies, or Lepidoptera (Lepidoptera)

Lepidoptera (Lepidoptera) from other Greek - scales and wing.

Its name is "lepidoptera»Squad representatives received due to the fact that their wings are covered flakesrepresenting modified bristles.

Butterfly (lat.Papilio)

Russian the name of the representatives of the order "Lepidoptera" - "butterfly"Comes from the glorious -" old woman, grandmother "and the departed idea of ​​butterflies as the souls of the dead.

Lepidoptera squad are one of the largest groups of insects, including 158 570 species. In the territory Of Russia 8,879 species of butterflies are found.

Lepidoptera, or butterflies, moths, moths - a detachment of insects with a complete transformation, the most characteristic feature of which is the presence of a dense cover chitin scales (flattened hairs) on the wings. The scales are located both on the veins and on the wing plate between them.

Most species are characterized by a specialized sucking oral apparatus with proboscisformed by elongated lower jaw blades.

Full life cycle butterfly development (Lepidoptera) includes 4 phases:

  1. Egg,
  2. Larva (caterpillar),
  3. Doll
  4. Imago (adult insect).


    Order Lepidoptera, or butterflies (Lepidoptera)
    - includes about 150 thousand species of world fauna. The detachment has about 50 superfamilies and, according to various estimates, there are from 124 to 200 lepidoptera families

  • Suborder Primary Tooth Moths (Zeugloptera)
  • Suborder Shotless (Aglossata)
  • Heterobathmy suborder (Heterobathmiina)
  • Proboscis suborder (Glossata)
    Butterfly suborder (Lepidoptera).
    Characteristic trait of proboscis butterflies - maxillary (jaw) sucking formed by outgrowths probosciswhich is at rest collapsed.
    Crowded numerous suborder (more than 150 thousand species).

    Infraorder Two-armed (Ditrysia)
    Lepidoptera group, including and day and night butterflies.
    This group got this name because of two pronounced genital openings: one for mating, the other for laying eggs.
    98% of all species of Lepidoptera belong to the group.

Superfamily Mace, or Daytime (Papilionoidea):
A distinctive feature of representatives of the superfamily are club-antennae (antennae) Caterpillars do not spin a cocoon during pupation.

Another common feature of Papilionoidea is that at least one of the 5 radial veins of the fore wing is reduced or located on a common trunk with one of the neighbors.
Over 13,700 species. In Europe, more than 550 species.

Different types of butterflies

1 - butterfly Podalirium (Iphiclides podalirius)
(The species is named after Podalirius, in ancient Greek mythology - the famous doctor, the son of Asclepius and Epiona).
1a - caterpillar Podaliriy
2 - butterfly Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
2a - caterpillar and chrysalis of the butterfly Swallowtail
3 - butterfly Polyxena (Zerynthia polyxena)
4 - butterfly Apollo (Parnassius apollo)
4a - Apollo butterfly caterpillar
5 - butterfly Mnemosyne (Parnassius mnemosyne)

Males of various species of butterflies, thanks to androconias, can smell various flavors.
The male bruennica smells lemon oil
male of the female repressor - by smell resident,
cabbage male - smell geraniums,
silkworm females and males smell musk.

Antennae butterflies perceive odors and vibrations of air. The antennae also help maintain balance when flying.

Faceted eye It is specialized for the perception of movement (visual acuity and the ability to perceive the shape of an object in it are poorly developed) and provides a very wide field of view. Thus, any movement of the enemy or prey is instantly captured by at least one of ommatidiev.

Coloring Lepidoptera wings can be:

  • pigmented (depends on the pigments contained)
  • optical (depends on light refraction)
  • combination (combining the two previous types of coloring).

Squad of butterflies, or Lepidoptera

Lepidoptera are the largest group of arthropod type insects. A characteristic feature of all representatives of the order of butterflies is a scaly multi-colored cover of the body and wings. These scales are nothing more than mutated hairs. They have a different color, can make complex and bizarre drawings. These patterns serve as a disguise that conceals an insect or signals inedibility. For most species, the patterns on the wings are identifiable so that individuals of the same species can recognize each other.

Another identifying feature of the order of butterflies is the sucking mouth apparatus in the form of a long tubular proboscis. For eating, the butterfly puts forward a long proboscis, plunges it into the depths of the flower and absorbs nectar.

The main source of food for the order of butterflies is the nectar of flowers, so they are considered the main pollinators of flowering plants. It is believed that with the appearance of flowers on Earth, butterflies arose.

Butterfly Breeding

Everyone knows that butterflies are night and day. These insects undergo a complete transformation in the process of development. First, they lay eggs, and larvae hatch from them, completely unlike adults. These are caterpillars. With the help of the salivary glands of the caterpillar, saliva and silk threads are secreted. It is from them that the caterpillars weave a cocoon for the pupa. The caterpillar will turn into it, having passed several links. After some time, an adult butterfly (imago) flies out of the pupa. The longest lifespan of an imago is several months.

Power Features

Food for the caterpillars are plants. But some species can be called predators and parasites. The main diet of adult butterflies is nectar, juice of vegetable or animal origin. In some species of butterflies, the proboscis is not developed at all, they do not feed, so they live for several hours or days.

The annual cycle of butterfly development is different, depending on the species. Most often, butterflies give one generation per year. There are species that give two or three generations per year.

Building individuality

Lepidoptera can have sizes from 2 mm to 15 cm. The smallest butterfly is considered to be a small moth that lives on the Canary Islands. The largest species is the Maak sailboat, which is common in Europe.

Like other insects, butterflies have an abdomen, head and chest. The outer skeleton is a strong chitinous cover. Butterflies have two pairs of wings with modified hairs-scales. It is with the help of these scales that the wings acquire a pattern and color. Butterflies can fly long distances. These insects come in two genders.

Squads of insects: butterflies, damselfly, dipterans, fleas

Today, there are about 150,000 scaly species that live on all continents except Antarctica. Especially brightly colored butterflies are rich in tropical areas. In addition to butterflies, there are several more similar orders of insects: homoptera, dipterous, fleas. We offer to get acquainted with the main representatives of each detachment:

  1. Diptera. There are over 30,000 species. These include cicadas, whiteflies, leaf flies, mealybugs, aphids, gall midges, and scale insects. All of them are sucking insects that feed on plant sap. They have a piercing-sucking mouth like a proboscis. Why are they called isoptera? Nature endowed them with two pairs of transparent wings - front and rear.
  2. Two winged. A million species belong to this order. They arose more than 100 million years ago. Everyone knows the bites of mosquitoes and annoying flies. They have the presence of a front pair of wings. Their hind wings can be called small appendages - buzzers that maintain balance during the flight.

Lepidoptera are of great importance in nature and human life. After all, butterflies pollinate plants perfectly. Many large butterflies, such as swallowtail, apollo, are simply mesmerized by their beauty. They become exhibits of many entomological collections.