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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.

U



ULYSSES BUTTERFLY

Papilio ulysses, also known as the Ulysses butterfly, the Blue Mountain Swallowtail, the Blue Emperor, and the Mountain Blue, is a spectacular Australian butterfly. The male is an iridescent blue-green with a dark background. The female is more subdued in color. They have a wingspan of about 5.5 inches (14 cm). Both have a long "swallowtail." Males are attracted to most blue objects (mistaking them for females). There are 16 known subspecies.

UNCUS

The uncus is the hook-shaped, downward-pointing end of the vein on the wing of male butterflies and moths.

UNDERSTORY

The understory of a rainforest is a dark, cool environment under the tree leaves (the canopy) but over the forest floor.

URANIA MOTH

The Urania moth (also called the sunset moth) is an iridescent moth that is active during the day (unlike most moths). This migratory insect lives in tropical rainforests. The 3 inch wide wings are blue, gold-green, yellow-cream, and red-orange, with black bands and spots. The lower hind wings have many short "tails." The body is chubby and the antennae are feathered. Classification: Family Uraniidae (swallowtail moths), Genus Urania, many species: U. riphaeus (from Madagascar, an island off the southeast coast of Africa), U. leilus (from Peru), U. fulgens (from Mexico, Belize), U. croesus (from Tanzania), U. sloanus (from Jamaica).


URQUHART, FRED A.

Dr. Fred A. Urquhart (1911- ) is a Canadian scientist who has studied butterflies (Monarchs in particular). Dr. Urquhart was the first person to tag a monarch butterfly, beginning in 1937. In 1975, Dr. Urquhart determined that some groups of monarchs overwinter in the transvolcanic mountains of Mexico, undertaking a migration of 2,000 miles that takes up to three generations to finish.

V


VASCULAR PLANT

A vascular plant has specialized pipelines that carry water and nutrients around the plant. Club mosses, ferns, horsetails, gymnosperms, and flowering plants are vascular plants.
Butterfly veins
VEINS

Veins are the rib-like tubes in insect wings (including butterflies and moths) that support the wings and bring nourishment to them.

VENATION

Venation is the vein pattern in the wings of butterflies and moths.


VICEROY

The Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) is a brown and orange non-poisonous butterfly that is very similar to the Monarch; it is a Batesian mimic of the poisonous Monarch. It can be distinguished from the Monarch by the black line that crosses its wings. Also, the undersides of its wings are quite similar to the topside (unlike the Monarch, whose underside is much lighter). It has a wingspan of 2.75 to 3 inches (7 to 7.5 cm). The Viceroy is found from Canada to Mexico. The caterpillar is olive green and brown with bristly tufts behind the head; it eats mostly willow and cottonwood. Classification: Family Nymphalidae.

VIVIPAROUS

Viviparous animals are born live and do not hatch from eggs. People are viviparous; butterflies and moths are oviparous, not viviparous.

W


WARM BLOODED

Warm blooded (or endothermic) animals generate their own body heat to maintain their body temperature. Birds and mammals are endothermic.


WARNING COLORATION

Warning coloration (or aposematic 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.

WESTERN PYGMY BLUE

The Western Pygmy Blue, Brephidium exilis, is the smallest butterfly in the United States. The adult is about 3/8 inch wide. The eggs are blue-green; the caterpillar is light green and eats pickleweed, saltbush, and pigweed. Family Lycaenidae.
Butterfly wings
WINGS

Butterflies and moths have four wings. The wings are made of two chitonous layers (membranes) that are nourished and supported by tubular veins.

WINGSPAN

Wingspan is the distance measured across a butterfly's (or moth's) wings.

WOOLLY BEAR

The woolly bear caterpillar is the hairy caterpillar of any of the tiger moths (family Arctiidae).

X


Y


Z



ZEBRA LONGWING BUTTERFLY

The Zebra Longwing is a small, black-and-yellow striped butterfly from warm areas.

ZEBRA SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY

The Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) is a butterfly with distinctive black and white markings and elongated tails on its hindwings. The caterpillar is yellow-green with black and yellow stripes. Larvae eat pawpaw. The Zebra Swallowtail has a wingspan of about 2-2.75 inches (5-7 cm). The Zebra Swallowtail lives for about 6 months in its adult stage. It is found in the eastern part of North America from Canada to Florida, USA. Family Papilionidae.

ZODIAC MOTH

The Zodiac moth (Alcides zodiaca) is a large moth that looks like a swallowtail butterfly (but like all moths, it rests with its wings outspread). Its rounded wings have large brown and cream/purple stripes. This moth lives in Australian tropical rainforests. It drinks flower nectar through its proboscis. The Zodiac moth is diurnal (most actice during the day).

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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