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Steve's Nature Quiz #4

in Science

Is this butterfly in the family

a) Pieridae (Whites and Yellows)

b) Nymphalidae (Browns)

c) Lycaenidae (Blues)

Even though it looks mainly brown the answer is (c). It is a female Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) in the family Lycaenidae. Because of the confusion that the colour based family names can cause lepidopterists now refer to the blues (Lycaenidae) as Gossamer Winged Butterflies and the browns (Nymphalidae) as Brush-footed or Four-footed Butterflies. The Pieridae still tend to be known as the whites and yellows even though some of them are orange.

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