What Is the Scientific Name for a Butterfly?

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Lepidoptera is the term for the scientific order that includes moths as well as butterflies. Members of the animal kingdom, butterflies are further classified as members of the arthropod phylum and the insect class.

True butterflies are distinguished from moths and so-called skippers by the super-family taxonomic designation Papilionoidea. Papillon is the French term for butterfly.

The work of botanist Carl Linnaeus led to the scientific naming system used to identify plants and animals. The Lepidoptera group accounts for an estimated 7 percent of the planet’s living creatures and includes over 100,000 different species. Lepidoptera are characterized by large, often colorful wings covered in scales.