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Scientific Classification
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Body Design


Order Lepidoptera's body design is exteremly unique and outstanding. With their delicate wings and striking colors, moths and butterflies stand out as the main beauty of Class Insecta. The way that their bodies are designed is a godly and amazing thing. Their bodies are designed for flight and also pollination. The body structures of moths and butterflies are similar, but moths have a furrier, rounder body and antennae with smaller wings. Despite these factors, moths and butterflies look fairly similar.

Adult moths and butterflies consist of four grand membranous wings. Each wing is covered with scales that overlap each other. The overlapping of the scales is what instigates the intense vibrant colors of the moths and butterflies. The color is caused by the tops of the scales shattering the light hitting them. Another way that color is shown is by the pigments in the wings of the insect. The wings of moths and butterflies are used for protection and instillation. In order to defend themselves from predators, the insect will use its wings for camouflage and confusion. A moth or butterfly will camouflage itself in order to hide and to prevent themselves from being eaten. Each species from the Order Lepidoptera has a different and unique color. Some moths and butterflies confuse their predator with mimicry. The color and body shape of the insect will often times look similar in order to trick the predator into thinking that its dangerous or poisonous. By a mere glance, the insects look the same, but in reality they are to different species. These tactics ensure the survival of the species.[4]

The head of the moth and butterfly is a round shape that holds its antennae, eyes, palpi, and proboscis. The antennae extend from the space between the insects eyes. They can be used for navigation and pheromone detection. Antennae are used to communicate physically like the behavior of bees and ants. They are a huge contribution to sexual mating by being able to detect males. Moths and butterflies have round spherical compound eyes that hold thousands of light receptors that create a mosaic image around the insect. Butterflies and moths are unable to blink, so in order to protect their eyes, the insect has a labial papli that filters dust out of the compound eye. Labial papli are projections that are covered with olfactory sensors. They are located on the antenna, thorax, abdomen, and legs. these senors are able to detect food. The proboscis of the moths and butterflies work as a tongue like straw that sucks up nectar into the mouth of the insect. It assists the insect with reaching into deep flowers so that it can feed and pollinate. Moths and butterflies have a long body called the thorax that is located in the middle of the membranous wings. It consists of three body segments. The wings, head , legs, and abdomen are attached to this muscular body part. The thorax controls that wings and how fast they beat. The three pairs of legs of an insect provide support as well as sensory abilities. The legs give the moth and butterfly a soft landing after flying and minimal movement on the ground. The abdomen contains the reproductive and major organs of the Order Lepidoptera. Moths and butterflies reproduce sexually. They use spiracles for respiration. They cause air to be drawn into the into small lung sacs.[5]

Life Cycle


The life cycle of the order Lepidoptera is complex yet, beautifully designed. Moths and butterflies transition through a four-stage life cycle that is known as complete metamorphosis. In order for the metamorphosis to be successful ,The moths and butterflies must go through four-stages in order to reach it's adult form. The stages consist of the egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The moth and butterfly are insects that need to have a uninterrupted metamorphosis in order to fulfill its adult form.

The first stage is the egg. Once the mother has successfully mated, the butterfly or moth will lay her eggs in a place that will provide an adequate food supply for her young. The mother will usually lay her eggs on plants for food and protection. The next stage is the larval stage. The eggs will hatch after their development has completed. Moth and butterfly larvae are known as caterpillars. Once the larvae hatches, it will begin to feed and take in nutrients from it's shell and from plant in which it has been laid on. The caterpillar will continue to eat and molt until it forms it's pupal skin and prepare to transition the next stage. [6]

The pupal stage is where the most transformation takes place. The insect remains motionless for a period of time, it will not eat or move. The butterflies form a chrysalis and moths form cocoons. Inside the insects pupal case the caterpillar's body mostly completely breaks down. special groups of cells called histoblasts, begin to transform the broken down caterpillar into a moth or butterfly. When the metamorphosis is complete, then the moth and butterfly will abide in it's case until it is triggered to emerge from its chrysalis or cocoon. Once the adult breaks through its case, it will endure a swollen abdomen and shriveled up wings until it is able to pump blood through its wings. The moth and butterfly is a marvelous example of God's glory and of his beautiful creation. [7]





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  1. VanDyk, John. Order Lepidoptera-Butterflies and Moths. “BugGuide”. Web. 12-14-14.
  2. Authorlastname, Firstname. Page Title Publishingsitename. Web. Dateofpublication or lastupdate or access (specify which).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Authorlastname, Firstname. Page Title Publishingsitename. Web. Dateofpublication or lastupdate or access (specify which).
  4. Unknown, Walter. Lepidopetra. “ Walter’s”. Web. 12-14-14.
  5. Hoskins, Adrian. [ 2.htm Butterfly Anatomy]. “learn about Butterflies the complete guide to the world of butterflies and moths.”. Web. 12-14-14.
  6. Culin, Joseph. Lepidopteran. “Encyclopadia Britannica”. Web. 12-14-14.
  7. Hadley, Debbie. Life Cycle of Butterflies and Moths. “About Education”. Web. 12-11-14.
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