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Diversity

Over 600 genera About 5,700 species

The Nymphalidae
Nymphalidae
are the largest family of butterflies with more than 6,000 species distributed throughout most of the world, belonging to the superfamily Papilionoidea. These are usually medium-sized to large butterflies. Most species have a reduced pair of forelegs and many hold their colourful wings flat when resting. They are also called brush-footed butterflies or four-footed butterflies, because they are known to stand on only four legs while the other two are curled up; in some species, these forelegs have a brush-like set of hairs, which gives this family its other common name. Many species are brightly coloured and include popular species such as the emperors, monarch butterfly, admirals, tortoiseshells, and fritillaries. However, the under wings are, in contrast, often dull and in some species look remarkably like dead leaves, or are much paler, producing a cryptic effect that helps the butterflies blend into their surroundings.

Contents

1 Nomenclature 2 Classification

2.1 Systematics and phylogeny 2.2 Example species from this family

3 Morphology 4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

Nomenclature[edit] Rafinesque[1] introduced the name Nymphalia as a subfamily name in diurnal Lepidoptera. Rafinesque did not include Nymphalis
Nymphalis
among the listed genera, but Nymphalis
Nymphalis
was unequivocally implied in the formation of the name (Code Article 11.7.1.1). The attribution of the Nymphalidae
Nymphalidae
to Rafinesque has now been widely adopted.[2] Classification[edit] For terms see External morphology of Lepidoptera. In the adult butterflies, the first pair of legs is small or reduced,[3] giving the family the other names of four-footed or brush-footed butterflies. The caterpillars are hairy or spiky with projections on the head, and the chrysalids have shiny spots. The forewings have the submedial vein (vein 1) unbranched and in one subfamily forked near the base; the medial vein has three branches, veins 2, 3, and 4; veins 5 and 6 arise from the points of junction of the discocellulars; the subcostal vein and its continuation beyond the apex of cell, vein 7, has never more than four branches, veins 8–11; 8 and 9 always arise from vein 7, 10, and 11 sometimes from vein 7 but more often free, i.e., given off by the subcostal vein before apex of the cell.[4] The hindwings have internal (1a) and precostal veins. The cell in both wings is closed or open, often closed in the fore, open in the hindwing. The dorsal margin of the hindwing is channelled to receive the abdomen in many of the forms.[4] The antennae always have two grooves on the underside; the club is variable in shape. Throughout the family, the front pair of legs in the male, and with three exceptions (Libythea, Pseudergolis, and Calinaga) in the female also, is reduced in size and functionally impotent; in some, the atrophy of the forelegs is considerable, e.g., the Danainae
Danainae
and Satyrinae. In many of the forms of these subfamilies, the forelegs are kept pressed against the underside of the thorax, and are in the male often very inconspicuous.[4] Systematics and phylogeny[edit] The phylogeny of the Nymphalidae
Nymphalidae
is complex. Several taxa are of unclear position, reflecting the fact that some subfamilies were formerly well-recognized as distinct families due to insufficient study. The five main clades within the family are:[5] The libytheine clade (basal)

Libytheinae
Libytheinae
(snout butterflies, earlier treated as the distinct family Libytheidae)

The danaine clade (basal)

Danainae
Danainae
(milkweed butterflies, earlier treated as the distinct family Danaidae)

Host plant families include Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae
Asclepiadoideae
(subfamily of Apocynaceae), and Moraceae.

Ithomiini
Ithomiini
(about 300 neotropical species, sometimes considered a subfamily Ithomiinae)

Most species have long wings, and some have transparent wings. Host plants are in the families Apocynaceae, Gesneriaceae, and Solanaceae.

Tellervini
Tellervini
(about 6–10 species in Australasia, sometimes considered a subfamily Tellervinae)

Caterpillars resemble those of the Danainae
Danainae
and feed on Apocynaceae.

The satyrine clade

Calinaginae
Calinaginae
(about six species, restricted to the Himalayas)

Mimics of the Danainae, they are restricted to host plants in the family Moraceae.[6]

Charaxinae

Tropical canopy butterflies, the caterpillars often have head spines or projections. Mostly edible species, have some Batesian mimics. Host plants are in the families Annonaceae, Celastraceae, Convolvulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Lauraceae, Myrtaceae, Piperaceae, Poaceae, Rhamnaceae, Rutaceae, Santalaceae, and Sapindaceae.[6]

Morphinae
Morphinae
(including Amathusiini, sometimes considered a subfamily Amathusiinae)

Include the spectacular neotropical Morpho, its food plants include the Arecaceae, Bignoniaceae, Fabaceae, Menispermaceae, Poaceae, and Sapindaceae.

Brassolini
Brassolini
(owls, neotropical with 70–80 species, mostly crepuscular, sometimes considered a subfamily Brassolinae)

Host plants in the families Arecaceae, Bromeliaceae, Heliconiaceae, Musaceae, and Poaceae.[6]

Satyrinae
Satyrinae
(satyrs and browns, earlier treated as distinct family Satyridae)

Host plants are in the families Arecaceae, Araceae, Cyperaceae, Heliconiaceae, Poaceae, and Selaginellaceae.

The heliconiine clade (sister group of the nymphaline clade, excludes former tribes Biblidini
Biblidini
and Cyrestini, and tribes Pseudergolini and Coeini)

Heliconiinae
Heliconiinae
(earlier treated as distinct family Heliconiidae)

Colourful tropical butterflies, they are noted for Müllerian mimicry. All species use host plants in the family Passifloraceae.

Acraeini
Acraeini
(mostly African, but some species in Asia, sometimes considered a family Acraeinae)

Host plants are in the families Asteraceae, Passifloraceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae, and Urticaceae.

Limenitidinae

The nymphaline clade (sister group of the heliconiine clade, also includes tribes Coeini
Coeini
and Pseudergolini)

Apaturinae
Apaturinae
(mostly tropical)

Host plants are in the family Ulmaceae. Caterpillars are smooth with bifid tails and horns on the head.[6]

Biblidinae
Biblidinae
(formerly in Limenitidinae) Cyrestinae (formerly in Limenitidinae) Nymphalinae
Nymphalinae
(a large subfamily that sometimes includes the Limenitidinae
Limenitidinae
and Biblidinae)

Some species migrate. Caterpillars are sometimes covered in spines. Host plants include Acanthaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Convolvulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fagaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Lamiaceae, Loranthaceae, Moraceae, Plantaginaceae, Poaceae, Rubiaceae, Rutaceae, Salicaceae, Sapindaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Urticaceae, and Verbenaceae.[6]

Example species from this family[edit]

Archdukes, genus Lexias California tortoiseshell, Nymphalis
Nymphalis
californica Comma, Polygonia c-album Common buckeye, Junonia coenia Common snout butterfly, Libytheana carinenta Cracker butterflies, genus Hamadryas Crimson patch, Chlosyne janais Edith's checkerspot, Euphydryas editha Grayling (butterfly), "Hipparchia semele" Hackberry Emperor, "Asterocampa celtis" Lorquin's admiral, Limenitis lorquini Marsh fritillary, Euphydryas aurinia Meadow brown, Maniola jurtina Mourning cloak, Nymphalis
Nymphalis
antiopa Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus Blue morpho, Morpho
Morpho
menelaus Painted lady, Vanessa cardui Peacock, Aglais
Aglais
io Plain tiger, Danaus chrysippus Question mark, Polygonia interrogationis Red admiral, Vanessa atalanta Small heath, Coenonympha pamphilus Small tortoiseshell, Nymphalis
Nymphalis
urticae Gatekeeper, Pyronia tithonus Small pearl-bordered fritillary, "Boloria Selene"

Morphology[edit] The trait for which these butterflies are most known is the use of only four legs; the reason their forelegs have become vestigial is not yet completely clear. Some suggest the forelegs are used to amplify the sense of smell, because some species possess a brush-like set of soft hair called setae, which has led researchers to believe the forelegs are used to improve signaling and communication between the species, while standing in the other four. This ability proves useful in terms of reproduction and the overall health of the species, and it is the leading theory so far.[7] See also[edit]

Insects portal Arthropods portal

List of fritillaries (butterflies)

References[edit]

^ Rafinesque, C.S. (1815). Analyse de la Nature, ou Tableau de l'Univers et des Corps Organisés. Jean Barravecceia: Palermo. 224 pages, p 127. ^ Vane-Wright & de Jong, 2003: 167; Pelham, 2008; Wahlberg, 2010 ^ Wolfe, Joanna M.; Oliver, Jeffrey C.; Monteiro, Antónia (2011-01-01). "Evolutionary reduction of the first thoracic limb in butterflies". Journal of Insect
Insect
Science. 11 (1): 66. doi:10.1673/031.011.6601. ISSN 1536-2442. PMC 3281478 . PMID 21867433.  ^ a b c Bingham, C.T. (1905). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma Butterflies. 1 (1st ed.). London: Taylor and Francis, Ltd.  ^ Niklas Wahlberg, Elisabet Weingartner & Sören Nylin (2003). Gisella Caccone & Giacomo Bernardi, ed. "Papers presented at the Mammalian Phylogeny
Phylogeny
symposium during the 2002 Annual Meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, Sorrento, Italy, June 13–16, 2002 (Chapter: Towards a better understanding of the higher systematics of Nymphalidae
Nymphalidae
(Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea))" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 28 (3): 473–484. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(03)00052-6. PMID 12927132. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-25.  ^ a b c d e Philip J. DeVries (2001). "Nymphalidae". In Simon A. Levin. Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. Academic Press. pp. 559–573. doi:10.1016/B0-12-226865-2/00039-0. ISBN 978-0-12-226865-6.  ^ Gould, S.E. " Butterfly
Butterfly
watch: four legs vs. six legs". Scientific American. Scientific American. Retrieved 7 Sep 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

Glassberg, Jeffrey Butterflies through Binoculars, The West (2001) Guppy, Crispin S. and Shepard, Jon H. Butterflies of British Columbia (2001) James, David G. and Nunnallee, David Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies (2011) Pelham, Jonathan Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada (2008) Pyle, Robert Michael The Butterflies of Cascadia (2002)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nymphalidae.

Wikispecies
Wikispecies
has information related to Nymphalidae

Canadian Biodiversity
Biodiversity
Information Facility (2003): Family Nymphalidae Family Nymphalidae
Nymphalidae
at Lepidoptera.pro Peter Chew: Danaids and Browns - Family Nymphalidae, Brisbane butterflies web site (2005). Tree of Life Web Project: Nymphalidae Nymphalidae
Nymphalidae
from all over the world Butterflies and Moths of North America Butterflies of America

v t e

Extant Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
families

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Subclass: Pterygota Infraclass: Neoptera Superorder: Endopterygota

Suborder Zeugloptera

Micropterigoidea

Micropterigidae
Micropterigidae
(mandibulate archaic moths)

Suborder Aglossata

Agathiphagoidea

Agathiphagidae (kauri moths)

Suborder Heterobathmiina

Heterobathmioidea

Heterobathmiidae

Suborder Glossata

Dacnonypha

Eriocranioidea

Eriocraniidae

Acanthoctesia

Acanthopteroctetoidea

Acanthopteroctetidae (archaic sun moths)

Lophocoronina

Lophocoronoidea

Lophocoronidae

Neopseustina

Neopseustoidea

Neopseustidae (archaic bell moths)

Exoporia

Hepialoidea

Anomosetidae Hepialidae
Hepialidae
(swift moths, ghost moths) Neotheoridae (Amazonian primitive ghost moths) Palaeosetidae (miniature ghost moths) Prototheoridae (African primitive ghost moths)

Mnesarchaeoidea

Mnesarchaeidae (New Zealand primitive moths)

H e t e r o n e u r a

M o n o t r y s i a

Incurvarioidea

Adelidae
Adelidae
(fairy longhorn moths) Cecidosidae Crinopterygidae Heliozelidae Incurvariidae Prodoxidae
Prodoxidae
(yucca moths)

Andesianoidea

Andesianidae (Andean endemic moths)

Nepticuloidea

Nepticulidae
Nepticulidae
(pigmy, or midget moths) Opostegidae
Opostegidae
(white eyecap moths)

Palaephatoidea

Palaephatidae (Gondwanaland moths)

Tischerioidea

Tischeriidae (trumpet leaf miner moths)

D i t r y s i a

Simaethistoidea

Simaethistidae

Tineoidea

Acrolophidae
Acrolophidae
(burrowing webworm moths) Arrhenophanidae Eriocottidae (Old World spiny-winged moths) Lypusidae Psychidae (bagworm moths) Tineidae
Tineidae
(fungus moths)

Gracillarioidea

Bucculatricidae
Bucculatricidae
(ribbed cocoon makers) Douglasiidae (Douglas moths) Gracillariidae Roeslerstammiidae

Yponomeutoidea

Acrolepiidae
Acrolepiidae
(false diamondback moths) Bedelliidae Glyphipterigidae
Glyphipterigidae
(sedge moths) Heliodinidae Lyonetiidae Plutellidae Yponomeutidae (ermine moths) Ypsolophidae

Gelechioidea

Autostichidae Batrachedridae Blastobasidae Coleophoridae
Coleophoridae
(case-bearers, case moths) Cosmopterigidae
Cosmopterigidae
(cosmet moths) Elachistidae
Elachistidae
(grass-miner moths) Gelechiidae
Gelechiidae
(twirler moths) Lecithoceridae
Lecithoceridae
(long-horned moths) Metachandidae Momphidae
Momphidae
(mompha moths) Oecophoridae
Oecophoridae
(concealer moths) Pterolonchidae Scythrididae
Scythrididae
(flower moths) Xyloryctidae
Xyloryctidae
(timber moths)

Galacticoidea

Galacticidae

Zygaenoidea

Heterogynidae Zygaenidae
Zygaenidae
(burnet, forester, or smoky moths) Himantopteridae Lacturidae Somabrachyidae Megalopygidae (flannel moths) Aididae Anomoeotidae Cyclotornidae Epipyropidae
Epipyropidae
(planthopper parasite moths) Dalceridae
Dalceridae
(slug caterpillars) Limacodidae
Limacodidae
(slug, or cup moths)

Cossoidea

Cossidae
Cossidae
(carpenter millers, or goat moths) Dudgeoneidae (dudgeon carpenter moths)

Sesioidea

Brachodidae (little bear moths) Castniidae
Castniidae
(castniid moths: giant butterfly-moths, sun moths) Sesiidae
Sesiidae
(clearwing moths)

Choreutoidea

Choreutidae
Choreutidae
(metalmark moths)

Tortricoidea

Tortricidae
Tortricidae
(tortrix moths)

Urodoidea

Urodidae
Urodidae
(false burnet moths)

Schreckensteinioidea

Schreckensteiniidae
Schreckensteiniidae
(bristle-legged moths)

Epermenioidea

Epermeniidae
Epermeniidae
(fringe-tufted moths)

Alucitoidea

Alucitidae (many-plumed moths) Tineodidae (false plume moths)

Pterophoroidea

Pterophoridae
Pterophoridae
(plume moths)

Whalleyanoidea

Whalleyanidae

Immoidea

Immidae

Copromorphoidea

Copromorphidae (tropical fruitworm moths) Carposinidae
Carposinidae
(fruitworm moths)

Hyblaeoidea

Hyblaeidae
Hyblaeidae
(teak moths)

Pyraloidea

Pyralidae
Pyralidae
(snout moths) Crambidae
Crambidae
(grass moth)

Thyridoidea

Thyrididae
Thyrididae
(picture-winged leaf moths)

Mimallonoidea

Mimallonidae (sack bearer moths)

Lasiocampoidea

Lasiocampidae
Lasiocampidae
(eggars, snout moths, or lappet moths)

Bombycoidea

Anthelidae
Anthelidae
(Australian lappet moth) Bombycidae
Bombycidae
(silk moths) Brahmaeidae
Brahmaeidae
(Brahmin moths) Carthaeidae (Dryandra moth) Endromidae
Endromidae
(Kentish glory and relatives) Eupterotidae Lemoniidae Saturniidae
Saturniidae
(saturniids) Sphingidae
Sphingidae
(hawk moths, sphinx moths and hornworms) Phiditiidae

Noctuoidea

Doidae Erebidae
Erebidae
(underwing, tiger, tussock, litter, snout, owlet moths) Euteliidae Noctuidae
Noctuidae
(daggers, sallows, owlet moths, quakers, cutworms, darts) Nolidae
Nolidae
(tuft moths) Notodontidae
Notodontidae
(prominents, kittens) Oenosandridae

Drepanoidea

Epicopeiidae
Epicopeiidae
(oriental swallowtail moths) Drepanidae
Drepanidae
(hook-tips)

Geometroidea

Sematuridae Uraniidae Geometridae (geometer moths)

Cimelioidea

Cimeliidae (gold moths)

Calliduloidea

Callidulidae
Callidulidae
(Old World butterfly-moths)

Superfamily unassigned

Millieriidae

Rhopalocera (butterflies)

Hedyloidea

Hedylidae
Hedylidae
(American moth-butterflies)

Hesperioidea

Hesperiidae (skippers)

Papilionoidea (true butterflies)

Lycaenidae
Lycaenidae
(gossamer-winged butterflies: blues, coppers and relatives) Nymphalidae
Nymphalidae
(brush-footed, or four-footed butterflies) Papilionidae (swallowtail butterflies) Pieridae
Pieridae
(whites, yellows, orangetips, sulphurs) Riodinidae
Riodinidae
(metalmarks)

Note: division Monotrysia
Monotrysia
is not a clade.

Taxonomy of the Lepidoptera Lists by region

Taxon
Taxon
identifiers

Wd: Q156449 ADW: Nymphalidae BAMONA: Nymphalidae BugGuide: 192 EoL: 876 EPPO: 1NYMPF Fauna Europaea: 7202 Fossilworks: 135150 GBIF: 7017 iNaturalist: 47922 ITIS: 117276 NCBI: 3

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