brush-footed butterfly


brush-footed butterfly
/brush"foot'id/
any of several butterflies of the family Nymphalidae, including the fritillaries, mourning cloaks, anglewings, and commas, characterized by reduced, nonfunctional forelegs. Also called four-footed butterfly.

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insect
also called  four-footed butterfly 
 any of a group of butterflies (order Lepidoptera) that are named for their characteristically reduced forelegs that are frequently hairy and resemble brushes. The insects' alternative name derives from the fact that there are only four functional, or walking, legs.

      Most species have a wingspan of 35–90 mm (1.5–3.5 inches) and white, yellow, or brown wings with contrasting markings and undersurfaces often with duller, more protective coloration. Common nymphalids include the anglewing, fritillary, mourning cloak, thistle, and viceroy butterflies. Most nymphalid larvae are brightly coloured and have knobby projections (tubercules), horns, and branching spines. The naked pupae, or chrysalids, hang head downward.

      Adult anglewings show seasonal dimorphism, with the autumnal generation being hairy and lighter-coloured. Some also exhibit sexual dimorphism, with the female being less conspicuous than the male. Most species have a silvery spot on the undersurface of each hindwing. The spiny larvae feed on elm and birch trees, hops, and nettles.

      The name fritillary is applied to several nymphalid genera. The large fritillaries, or silverspots, belong to the genus Speyeria and usually have silver markings on the undersides of the wings. Many of the smaller fritillaries are members of the genus Boloria. Many fritillary larvae are nocturnal and feed on violet leaves.

 The mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), known as the Camberwell beauty in England, overwinter as adults. The larvae, often known as spiny elm caterpillars, are gregarious in habit and feed principally on elm, willow, and poplar foliage.

      The thistle butterfly (Vanessa) is named for its principal larval host plant. Some species, such as the painted lady (V. cardui), migrate during adulthood, traveling in large groups.

 The viceroy (Basilarchia archippus, or Limenitis archippus) is known for its imitation of the monarch butterfly, which is distasteful to predators. Through this resemblance the edible viceroy, which can be distinguished by its smaller size and by a black transverse band on each hindwing, probably derives protection from predatory attack. Viceroy larvae feed on willow, aspen, and poplar foliage. Recent studies have suggested that in some areas both viceroy and monarch butterflies may be distasteful to predators.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • brush-footed butterfly — noun medium to large butterflies found worldwide typically having brightly colored wings and much reduced nonfunctional forelegs carried folded on the breast • Syn: ↑nymphalid, ↑nymphalid butterfly, ↑four footed butterfly • Hypernyms: ↑butterfly… …   Useful english dictionary

  • four-footed butterfly — noun medium to large butterflies found worldwide typically having brightly colored wings and much reduced nonfunctional forelegs carried folded on the breast • Syn: ↑nymphalid, ↑nymphalid butterfly, ↑brush footed butterfly • Hypernyms: ↑butterfly …   Useful english dictionary

  • four-footed butterfly. — See brush footed butterfly. * * * …   Universalium

  • four-footed butterfly. — See brush footed butterfly …   Useful english dictionary

  • butterfly — butterflylike, adj., adv. /but euhr fluy /, n., pl. butterflies, v., butterflied, butterflying, adj. n. 1. any of numerous diurnal insects of the order Lepidoptera, characterized by clubbed antennae, a slender body, and large, broad, often… …   Universalium

  • Butterfly — calesButterflies are characterized by their scale covered wings.The coloration of butterfly wings is created by minute scales. These scales are pigmented with melanins that give them blacks and browns, but blues, greens, reds and iridescence are… …   Wikipedia

  • emperor butterfly — noun large richly colored butterfly • Syn: ↑emperor • Hypernyms: ↑nymphalid, ↑nymphalid butterfly, ↑brush footed butterfly, ↑four footed butterfly • Hyponyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • nymphalid butterfly — noun medium to large butterflies found worldwide typically having brightly colored wings and much reduced nonfunctional forelegs carried folded on the breast • Syn: ↑nymphalid, ↑brush footed butterfly, ↑four footed butterfly • Hypernyms:… …   Useful english dictionary

  • comma butterfly — noun anglewing butterfly with a comma shaped mark on the underside of each hind wing • Syn: ↑comma, ↑Polygonia comma • Hypernyms: ↑nymphalid, ↑nymphalid butterfly, ↑brush footed butterfly, ↑four footed butterfly …   Useful english dictionary

  • peacock butterfly — noun European butterfly having reddish brown wings each marked with a purple eyespot • Syn: ↑peacock, ↑Inachis io • Hypernyms: ↑nymphalid, ↑nymphalid butterfly, ↑brush footed butterfly, ↑four footed butterfly …   Useful english dictionary


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