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Papilionoidea facts for kids

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Ditrysia
Superfamily: Papilionoidea
Latreille, 1802
(unranked): Rhopalocera

The superfamily Papilionoidea (from the genus Papilio, meaning "butterfly") has all the butterflies except for the skippers, which are in the superfamily Hesperioidea, and the moth-like Hedyloidea.

The members of the Papilionoidea may be distinguished by the following combination of characters:

  • The body is smaller and less moth-like.
  • The wings are larger.
  • The antennae are straight and clubbed or hooked as in the skippers.
  • The caterpillars do not spin cocoons in which to pupate.
  • The pupae are angular rather than rounded.

Families of Papilionoidea

Charaxes brutus natalensis
Brush-footed butterfly of subfamily Charaxinae

The five families of Papilionoidea are:

  • Swallowtails and Birdwings, Papilionidae
  • Whites or Yellow-Whites, Pieridae
  • Blues and Coppers or Gossamer-Winged Butterflies, Lycaenidae
  • Metalmark butterflies, Riodinidae
  • Brush-footed butterflies, Nymphalidae which contain the following 13 subfamilies:
    • the snout butterflies or Libytheinae (formerly the family Libytheidae).
    • the Danaids or Danainae (formerly the family Danaidae).
    • the Tellervinae.
    • the glasswings or Ithomiinae.
    • the Calinaginae.
    • the morphos and owls or Morphinae (including the owls as tribe Brassolini).
    • the Browns or Satyrinae (formerly the family Satyridae).
    • the Charaxinae (preponas and leaf butterflies).
    • the Biblidinae.
    • the Apaturinae.
    • the nymphs or Nymphalinae.
    • the Limenitidinae (especially the adelphas) (formerly the family Limenitididae).
    • the tropical longwings or Heliconiinae.
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Papilionoidea Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.