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True Butterflies

( Originally Published 1917 )

SUPERFAMILY Papilionoidea

The great suborder of butterflies is commonly separated into two principal groups called superfamilies. One of these includes all of the higher butterflies and is named Papilionoidea. The other includes the lower Skipper butterflies and is named the Hesperioidea, The former are characterized by small bodies and relatively large wings, straight clubbed antennae, and the fact that the caterpillars do not make cocoons when preparing for the chrysalis state.

The most authoritative classifications of butterfly families are based upon the peculiarities of wing venation and are admirably discussed in such books as Holland's "Butterfly Book" and Comstock's "How to Know the Butterflies. Without attempting to go into the technical details of structure it will suffice here to give the list of families which compose the superfamily Papilionoidea: The Parnassians. Parnassiidae.

The Swallowtails, Papilionidae.
The Whites, Orange-tips, and Yellows.
The Nymphs. Nymphalidae.
The Satyrs or Meadow-browns. Agapetidae.
The Heliconians. Heliconidae.
The Milkweed Butterflies. Lynnadidae.
The Long-beaks. Libytheidae.
The Metal-marks. Riodinidae.
The Gossamer-wings. Lycaenidae.

It must not be thought that such a list necessarily indicates the degrees of development of the respective families, for this is not true. It is simply a linear arrangement adopted for convenience by leading authorities, notably Dr. Harrison G. Dyar in his standard "Catalog of American Lepidoptera."

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