How Many Wings Does a Butterfly Have?

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A butterfly has four wings, or two sets of wings. Butterflies belong to the order Lepidoptera, which also includes moths and skippers. When not in use, butterfly wings fold together in a vertical fashion.

Butterfly wings are covered with colorful scales that are actually pieces of hardened membrane. Thousands of these scales overlap one another to cover the wings, forming an intricate color pattern recognizable to humans. Veins wind their way through the wings to strengthen the wing’s structure.

Both sets of wings attach to the midsection, or thorax, of the butterfly. The hindwings are the first pair and possess a smaller, rounder shape. The forewings are the second pair, and they have more angles and are bigger.