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LEPIDOPTERA

Butterflies are part of the order Lepidoptera which


means "scaly wings" and there are more than 100,000
species in the world. Only in Ecuador there are about
4,000 different species. Most of these are found in the
tropical areas of the country such as the Mashpi Lodge
cloud forest.

Butterflies have four stages throughout their life, easily


as an egg, then they are larvae, they pupate, and finally
their best known stage is the adult in which they have
very colorful wings. The larvae feed on leaves that are
from the plants in which the butterflies lay their eggs, these plants are species-specific and are
found as host plants.

When they are adults, many species are pollinators, since these feed mainly on flower nectar.
Some also feed on fruits. Butterflies can also feed on minerals that fruits and flowers cannot
obtain. This is why butterflies are often seen in the mud near rivers or on decomposing meat.

Butterflies have predators and / or parasites that have their development in any of their
stages. Thus, they also become part of the food pyramid and the energy network of forests.

Butterflies are characterized by having very colorful wings. These are beneficial for sexual
selection but at the same time they make them more visible to predators, so butterflies are
very interesting to understand the different types of mimicry.

Blue Morpho Butterfly. There are tens of thousands of butterfly species in the world, one of
the most beautiful are blue morpho butterflies, highly sought after by collectors and people in
general who want to admire the wonderful color of their bodies.
Vanessa butterfly of the thistles. The Vanessa thistle butterfly is characterized by being the
most distributed around the world and is often known as the thistle or cosmopolitan butterfly
because its habitat extends from North and South America, Europe, Asia to Africa.

Butterfly Bird Wings. The Bird Wings butterfly is the largest of the butterflies in the world, with
a wingspan of up to 30 cm wide. This exotic butterfly comes from a tropical rain forest in the
low coastal lands of New Guinea. It is on the US Endangered Species List as its habitat is being
reduced as oil palm plantations increase.
Tiger butterfly. The tiger butterfly is a strong flying that has distinctive markings in the form of
yellow and black stripes on the wings and body. Some females are brown or black, mimicking
the tiger butterfly.

Ulysses butterfly. The Ulysses butterfly is also known as the Blue Mountain Butterfly, the Blue
Emperor, and the Blue Swallow Butterfly. It is a spectacular Australian butterfly with bright
blue and black colors.
Zebra butterfly. The zebra butterfly is a common butterfly with distinctive black and white
markings, an elongated tail on its hind wings, with some small red and blue markings on the
hind wings and strongly wavy margins.

Common blue butterfly. Despite its name, this species is no longer considered a common
butterfly. It is still the most widely distributed in Britain, but many colonies of habitats such as
forest walks and farmland have decreased their population.