Pierre Zagatti zagatti at versailles.inra.fr
Thu May 28 03:49:31 EDT 1998

Neil Jones wrote:
> In article <1998052521011700.RAA22847 at ladder01.news.aol.com>
>            kcnc1 at aol.com "KCNC1" writes:
> > I am on a quest to answer a question for my 4 year old. What is it that
> > differentiates a moth from a Butterfly? Please be as specific as possible.
> > Thank you in advance.
> Several differences are often noted.
.... I snipped off Neil's good explanations ...

In the countries where butterflies and moths share the same 'ordinal'
papillons, mariposas... (Christopher Majka may develop about this ?)
the question is frequently off-topic. Butterflies represent a super
of Lepidoptera, and Skippers another one. There are tens of super
recognized in Lepidoptera now, and they are not so easy to define with
precise, dichotomic keys, although many of them are recognized at first
glance by naturalists.

Now the occurrence of a single term for butterflies and moths in
latin languages might arise from a cultural approach of Nature.
I am not really familiar with sociology, but I'm certain that
there are far less persons 'looking at' insects in France and
Mediterranean countries than in northern ones.

INRA Unite de Phytopharmacie et Mediateurs Chimiques
78026 Versailles Cedex
Tel: (33) 1 30 83 31 18
e-mail zagatti at versailles.inra.fr

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