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Butterflies and moths constitute the order Lepidoptera, which means “scaled wings.”  Adults of almost all species have four wings that are covered with colored scales.  Moths are much more numerous than butterflies.  In North America, north of Mexico, there are about 700 species of butterflies and over 10,000 species of moths.  In Florida, there are a little under 200 species of butterflies and almost 800 species of moths that have been documented.

It is usually easy to distinguish between butterflies and moths.  Almost all butterflies are active exclusively during the day while the majority of moths are active only at night.  Another distinguishing characteristic is the shape of their antennas. Butterflies have a club or knob at the end of their antennas while the antennae of most moths are threadlike or fernlike.

All butterflies and moths go through four distinct stages in its life: egg, caterpillar, pupa (chrysalis), and adult. The change from caterpillar to pupa to adult involves major changes in appearance.  This process is called metamorphosis.



 
           
      


       

 


  

Swallowtails

Brushfoots

Skippers

     Black Swallowtail

  Buckeye, Common

              Duskywing, Horace’s

     Giant Swallowtail

                Buckeye, Mangrove

 Skipper, Fiery

      Palamedes Swallowtail

    Crescent, Phaon

     Skipper, Long-tailed

  Zebra Swallowtail

     Emperor, Hackberry

     Skipper, Mangrove


      Fritillary, Gulf



     Lady, American



 Monarch



                   Queen


Whites & Yellows

      White Peacock


 Sulphur, Cloudless



 Great Southern White


Gossamer-wings


 Yellow, Barred

    Blue, Cassius



     Blue, Ceraunus   



     Eastern Pygmy-Blue


Metalmarks


 Hairstreak, Gray



                Hairstreak, Red-banded








Butterflies & Moths

Butterflies

Pyrausta Moths

     Coffee-loving Moth



Moth Wasps

Polka-dot Wasp Moth










Moths