Lepidoptera

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Lepidoptera moths and butterflies
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Lepidoptera (Zoöl) An order of insects, which includes the butterflies and moths. They have broad wings, covered with minute overlapping scales, usually brightly colored.☞ They have a tubular proboscis, or haustellum, formed by the two slender maxillæ. The labial palpi are usually large, and the proboscis, when not in use, can be coiled up spirally between them. The mandibles are rudimentary. The larvæ, called caterpillars, are often brightly colored, and they commonly feed on leaves. The adults feed chiefly on the honey of flowers.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • Lepidoptera An order of hexapod insects, or true Insecta, with suctorial mouth-parts in the form of a spiral antlia, four similar membranous wings completely covered with scales, a fused prothorax, and perfect metamorphosis. These beautiful insects are known as butterflies and moths, the former being the Lepidoptera diurna, or Rhopalocera, and the latter the Lepidoptera nocturna, or Heterocera, respectively constituting the two suborders into which the order is now usually divided. In the adults the mouth is completely haustellate or antliate, the maxillæ being modified into a tubular sucking-proboscis, and the mandibles being rudimentary. The modified maxillæ have a pair of palps. The head is loosely attached to the thorax, and the long slender legs are very freely movable. The fore pair are rudimentary in some butterflies. The body is hairy; the prothorax has a pair of tippets or patagia, and the mesothorax a pair of scales, tegulæ, or paraptera. The pupa is obtected. The larva, known as a caterpillar, is mandibulate, having masticatory instead of suctorial mouth-parts, and is provided with from 4 to 10 prolegs or prop-legs besides the 6 true legs. The lip of the larva bears a double-orificed spinneret, a tubular organ through which passes the silk of which the cocoon is fabricated. Caterpillars are almost invariably vegetable-feeders, and often prove highly destructive. A few species are known to be carnivorous. Upward of 50,000 species are described. In the Linnean system, prior to 1758, the Lepidoptera consisted of the two genera Papilio and Phalœna, corresponding to the modern suborders Rhopalocera and Heterocera, or butterflies and moths; later, in the same system, of the genera Papilio, Sphinx, and Phalæna, corresponding to the Latreillean Lepidoptera diurna, cropuscularia, and nocturna. Later writers divided the order into the families Papilionidæ, Sphingidæ, Ægeriidæ, Zygænidæ, Bombycidæ, Noctuidæ, Geometridæ, Pyralidæ, Tortricidæ, and Tineidæ; and nearly all of these have been further subdivided into other families.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n.pl Lepidoptera lep-i-dop′tėr-a an order of insects, with four wings covered with fine scales—butterfly, moth, &c
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. lepi`s -i`dos, a scale + ptero`n a feather, wing
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. lepis, -idos, a scale, pteron, a wing.

Usage

In literature:

The first copy of the chapter on Lepidoptera agreed pretty closely with you.
"The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II (of II)" by Charles Darwin
These Lepidoptera are for children to play with, pretty to look at, so some think.
"The Poet at the Breakfast Table" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
His observations no doubt apply to English lepidoptera, in most of which the sexes are alike.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II" by Charles Darwin
Will you come upstairs, Dr. Watson, and inspect my collection of Lepidoptera?
"The Hound of the Baskervilles" by A. Conan Doyle
The large and brilliantly-coloured Lepidoptera bespeak the zone they inhabit, far more plainly than any other race of animals.
"A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World" by Charles Darwin
Descriptions of some new or imperfectly characterized Lepidoptera from Australia.
"Discoveries in Australia, Volume 1." by J Lort Stokes
The rarity of Lepidoptera, except perhaps some nocturnal moths, is curious; Coleoptera are more common, but inconspicuous.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
LEPIDOPTERA, especially subject to variation, 132.
"Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection" by Alfred Russel Wallace
She discovered that these Lepidoptera had traits of character which still further differentiated them.
"The Heart of Arethusa" by Francis Barton Fox
The other case relates to Lepidoptera.
"Mendelism" by Reginald Crundall Punnett
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In science:

Note on gynandromorphism in the eucalyptus defoliator thyrinteina arnobia (stoll, 1782) (lepidoptera: Geometridae).
A Developmental Network Theory of Gynandromorphs, Sexual Dimorphism and Species Formation
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