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Basic Butterfly Info

Butterflies: Order of Lepidoptera

The closest relatives of the butterflies and moths are believed to be the caddis flies of the order Triehoptera, both these and the Lepidoptera having probably evolved from a common ancestor. The exact number of members of the Lepidoptera in existence is not precisely known, since new species are still being discovered and described. The likely number is in the region of 160,000 of which about 20,000 are butterflies and the remainder moths. This makes them one of the most diverse groups of living organisms and within the insects only the beetles exceed them in the number of species to be found today.


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