Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Nymphalidae - Brush-footed Butterflies

Viceroy or Red-spotted? - Limenitis archippus Mourning Cloak Pupa - Nymphalis antiopa Unknown caterpillar- Pearl Crescent? - Phyciodes tharos caterpillar - Junonia coenia worm or caterpillar...what's the difference? - Limenitis lorquini Mourning Cloak - Nymphalis antiopa early instar Harris's Checkerspot on flat-topper white aster - Chlosyne harrisii Viceroy on Willow - Limenitis archippus
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)
Explanation of Names
The nomenclature and arrangement of subfamilies and tribes used here, largely follows that of Wahlberg. While the names of genera and species primarily follow the Pelham Catalog.
Numbers
Worldwide about 6000 spp. in 544 genera
209 species in North America
Identification
You have to look closely at some members of this family to distinguish the six legs common to all insects. The adult butterfly's front pair of legs is modified into two small "brushes", and only four legs are used for walking around.
Print References
(1) Opler/Malikul, 'Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies'
(2) Pelham, Jonathan P., 2008, 'Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada'
Works Cited
1.A Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides)
Paul A. Opler, Vichai Malikul, Roger Tory Peterson. 1992. Houghton Mifflin Company.
2.A Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada
Jonathan P. Pelham. 2008. The Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Inc.