Meaning of Names - Help required

John Patterson cj.patterson at
Mon Jan 25 07:33:15 EST 1999

I am new to Butterflies and crave your patience.

I understand that Lepidoptera comes from the Greek and that Lepis =
'scale' and pteron = 'wing'

I am aware that there are 9 families of European Butterflies:
Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Riodinidae, Libytheidae, Danaidae,
Nymphalidae, Satyridae, Hesperiidae.
I do not know what the names mean.
I do not know how these families got their names.

If you look at Nymphalidae - I know what a Nymph is, but what has that
got to do with this group of Butterflies.

Can anyone help me with what the names mean and how these families got
their names.

John Patterson

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