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ALL ABOUT BUTTERFLIES!

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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.

I



IGNEOUS ROCK

When molten rock cools, igneous rock is formed.

IMAGINAL DISCS

Imaginal discs are clusters of cells carried with a larva. Different clusters of these cells will develop into different adult body parts. For example, one cluster will develop into the adult's compound eyes, another cluster will become the antennae.

IMAGO

The imago is the adult stage of an insect (like a butterfly or moth) during which the insect reproduces.

INDEX FOSSILS

Index fossils are commonly found fossils that are limited in time span. They help in dating other fossils. For example: trilobites were common during the Paleozoic, but not found before the Permian period, and ammonites were common during the Mesozoic Era, but not found after the Cretaceous period.

INDUSTRIAL MELANISM

Industrial melanism is a phenomenon in which an organism adapts (via natural selection) to industrial soot pollution (the soot blackens the environment, so many formerly camouflaged animals are no longer hidden). A classic example of industrial melanism is the peppered moth (Biston betularia). In England in the 1880's, soot covered much of the landscape, following the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Previous to the soot problem, the light-colored variety of the moth (called typis) was common in England (its speckled coloration helped camouflage the moth when perched on birch tree trunks). After pollution covered many of the trees with a dark layer of soot and killed the light, whitish-gray colored lichens that lived on the tree trunks, a dark form of the moth (called carbonaria) was observed (presumably since the light-colored variety was no longer camouflaged when at rest on trees, and they were caught by birds - the dark-colored variety were now better camouflaged and more likely to survive and reproduce). The dark form of the peppered moth was first observed in 1848, and by 1895, 95 percent of the peppered moths were of the darker type. Recently, as cleaner-burning fuels have been used in England, the light-colored variety has returned to prominence.

INSECTS

Insects (meaning "segmented" in Latin) have exoskeletons and six legs. They evolved during the Silurian Period, 438 to 408 mya, long before dinosaurs existed. Butterflies and moths are insects.

INSECTIVORE

An insectivore is an organism that eats mostly insects. Many birds are insectivores.

INSTAR

An insect is called an instar when it is between two molts. A newly-hatched insect is called a first-instar or larva. An adult is a final instar. Most caterpillars (butterfly and moth larva) have five or six instars.

INTEGUMENT

The integument is an insect's hard outer coat.

INTERSPECIFIC COMPETITION

Interspecific competition is competition between two different species of organisms (competing for food, territory, etc.).

INTRASPECIFIC COMPETITION

Intraspecific competition is competition among members of a species (competing for food, mates, territory, etc.).
painted lady butterflycrayfish
INVERTEBRATE

Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone. Some invertebrates inclufe insects (like butterflies and moths), crustaceans, sponges, arachnids, jellyfish, etc.
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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