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Enchanted Learning
ALL ABOUT BUTTERFLIES!

Butterfly Calendar
What is a Butterfly? Life Cycle Butterfly Anatomy Information Sheets Glossary Printables and Activities

Butterfly Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.

A


ABDOMEN

The abdomen is the segmented tail area of an insect (including butterflies and moths). An insect's abdomen contains its heart, Malpighian tubules, reproductive organs, and most of the digestive system (foregut, hindgut and rectum). It is protected by an exoskeleton. The abdomen of butterflies and moths have eleven segments (the terminal 2 or 3 segments are fused together).
caterpillar

ABDOMINAL PROLEGS

Abdominal prolegs are the peg-like legs on the abdomen (hind region) of a caterpillar. These legs have crochets (small hooks) on them. These legs disappear in the adult butterfly.


AEROPYLE

Aeropyles are microscopic holes that dot the surface of the egg. Aeropyles let oxygen into the egg.


AMERICAN COPPER BUTTERFLY

The American Copper Butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas) is an orange-red butterfly with a gray underside. The wing span is 7/8 to 1 3/8 inches (2.2 - 3.5 cm). The host plants are sheep sorrel and curled dock. The caterpillar is slug-like. Adults drink nectar from many flowers including the buttercup, butterflyweed, clover, yarrow, and ox-eye daisy. It lives in Europe and North America (from Nova Scotia to the southern USA). Classification: Family Lycaenidae, Genus Lycaena, Species phlaeas,


AMERICAN SNOUT BUTTERFLY

The American Snout (Libytheana carinenta) is a butterfly that has long labial palps (mustache-like scaly mouthparts on either side of the proboscis) that look like a long snout. The butterfly has a 1 3/8 - 2 inch (3.5 - 5 cm) wingspan. The front pair of legs on the male (but not the female) are reduced in size. Eggs are laid in groups on the hackberry plant. The caterpillar eats hackberry (celtis); the adult sips nectar from the flowers of asters, dogbane, dogwood, goldenrod, sweet pepperbush, and more. Adult American Snout butterflies look like dead leaves. They sometimes go on long migrations. They are brush-footed butterflies (Family Nymphalidae).
caterpillar

ANAL PROLEGS

Anal prolegs are a pair of stumpy legs at the very end of a caterpillar's abdomen (hind region). These legs have crochets (small grasping hooks) on them.

ANDROCONIA

Androconia (also called scent scales) are modified wing scales on butterflies and moths that release pheronomes. Only males have these scent scales. The pheromones attract females of that species.


ANGIOSPERM

Angiosperms are flowering plants that produce seeds enclosed in fruit. They are the dominant type of plant today; there are over 250,000 species. Their flowers are used in reproduction. Angiosperms evolved 125 million years ago and became the dominant plants about 100 million years ago. Angiosperms are divided into monocots (like corn) and dicots (like beans).
Butterfly head

ANTENNAE

Antennae (singular antenna) are sensory appendages attached to the head of some adult insects. Antennae are used for the sense of smell and balance. Butterflies have two segmented antennae with a small club at the end of each. Moths have antennae without the club. Larvae (caterpillars) have tiny sensory antennae.

ANTHOPHYTA

Anthophyta are flowering plants, the largest group of plants (which includes the grasses). The flowers are used in reproduction. They evolved during the Cretaceous period. Butterflies and moths are important pollinators of these plants.

APICAL

Apical means towards or at the apex (the uppermost point or top).


APOSEMATIC COLORATION

Aposematic coloration (or warning coloration) is the bright, attention-getting coloration that protects an organism from experienced predators (i.e., predators who have previously eaten a similar-looking animal and have gotten sick from it). Both poisonous organisms (like the Monarch butterfly) and its mimics (poisonous or not) are said to have aposematic coloration.

ARMY

An army is the term for a group of caterpillars.

ARTHROPODS

Arthropods are a group of animals with exoskeletons made of chitin, segmented bodies and jointed limbs. Insects, arachnids, trilobites, crustaceans, and others are arthropods.

AUTOTROPH

An autotroph (or producer) is an organism that makes its own food from light energy or chemical energy. Most green plants, many protists (one-celled organisms like slime molds) and most bacteria are autotrophs. Autotrophs are the base of the food chain.
Zoom Butterfly
Butterfly Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the butterfly term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.


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