The butterflies, are insects of the order Lepidoptera classified in superfamilies Hesperioidea and Papilionoidea, which make up the informal group “Rhopalocera”. Like other holometabolism insects, its life cycle consists of four phases: egg, larva, pupa, and imago (adult). The oldest known fossils of butterflies are from the middle of the Eocene, between 40-50 million years ago.
Butterflies demonstrate polymorphism, mimicry, and aposematism. Some, like the Monarch Butterfly, migrate long distances. Some butterflies have developed symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants. Some species are pests because while larvae can damage crops or trees; however, some species are pollinating agents for some plants and the caterpillars of some butterflies (for example, those of the subfamily Miletinae ) eat nefarious insects. Culturally, butterflies are a popular theme in the visual and literary arts.
Butterflies have two pairs of membranous wings covered with scales, which have different shapes and colors, in addition to mouthpieces adapted to suction. They have a special organ, the spirothromba, formed by the jaws, in the lepidopteran insect-sucking apparatus, which, at rest, remains coiled, forming a spiral that extends when they want to suck the nectar.
They are distinguished from moths (moths) by rectilinear antennae that end in a ball, by daytime habits, by the metamorphosis that takes place inside a rigid chrysalis and by the thin and elongated abdomen. When at rest, butterflies fold their wings upwards.
The butterfly can have a minimum weight of 0.3 grams and the heaviest can weigh up to 3 grams; some types of butterflies can measure up to 32 centimeters from wing to wing.