Brush-footed butterflies

(Family Nymphalidae)

Overview
brush-footed butterfly (family Nymphalidae)
Photo by Nancy Falkum
 

Nymphalidae is a large family of butterflies known as brush-footed butterflies. These butterflies occur on every continent including Antarctica. There are currently about 6,000 described species in 544 genera worldwide, 209 species in North America north of Mexico, and at least 37 species in Minnesota. They are found in almost all terrestrial ecosystems.

Many species hold their wings flat while resting.

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Most Nymphalidae are medium- to large-sized butterflies. The front legs on both sexes of most species are very short and cannot be used for walking. When at rest, the butterflies stand on just four legs, the front legs being curled up. This is the feature that gives the family one of its common names. Some species have a brush-like set of hairs on their forelegs. This is the feature that gives the family its other common name.

Many species have colorful upper wing surfaces while the lower wing surfaces are cryptically colored, providing camouflage. All species have three longitudinal ridges (keels) on their antennae, one on each side, and one separating two shallow longitudinal grooves. This feature is referred to a s “tricarinate antennae”.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 71, 75, 82.

 
  6/27/2022      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Superfamily

Papilionoidea (butterflies)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Admirals, Sisters (Subfamily Limenitidinae)

Crescents, Checkerspots, Anglewings, etc. (Subfamily Nymphalinae)

Daggerwings, Map Butterflies (Subfamily Cyrestinae)

Emperors (Subfamily Apaturinae)

Heliconians and Fritillaries (Subfamily Heliconiinae)

Leafwings and relatives (Subfamily Charaxinae)

Milkweed Butterflies & Glasswings (Subfamily Danainae)

Satyrs, Morphos and Owls (Subfamily Satyrinae)

Snouts (Subfamily Libytheinae)

Tropical Brushfoots (Subfamily Biblidinae)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Heliconiidae

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

brush-footed butterflies

four-footed butterflies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Nancy Falkum

 
    brush-footed butterfly (family Nymphalidae)      
           
 
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  Nancy Falkum
5/27/2022

Location: Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Weaver Dunes Unit

 

brush-footed butterfly (family Nymphalidae)

 
           
 
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Created: 6/27/2022

Last Updated:

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