Meaning of Names - Help required

Victor Naveau Victor.Naveau at
Sat Jan 30 16:59:59 EST 1999

John Patterson wrote:

> 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


I found in my library two books :
"Lijst van de Europese Dagvlinders en de Etymologie van de Wetenschappelijke namen"
"List of the european diurna and the Etymology of their scientific names"
edited by A.Janssen, 1990, Berchem-Antwerpen, published on one's own. 89 pages.
"Naamlijst van de Belgische Grootvlinders (Lepidoptera-Macrolepidoptera) 
en de Etymologie van de wetenschappelijke namen"
"Namelist of the Belgian Bigbutterflies (Lepidoptera-Macrolepidoptera) 
and the Etymology of the scientific names"
edited by August Janssen, 1991. Berchem-Antwerpen, published on one's own.
280+16 pages
The publishing was effected in collaboration of the "Royal Entomological 
Society of Antwerp"-Belgium.
So you are still interested I will copy (and try to translate) 
the passages you need.
Victor Naveau ir , Lange Beeldekensstraat 272 , BE - 2060 Antwerpen
Phone : +32 (0)3 236 07 65 , E-mail : Victor.Naveau at
                                    : entomo-info at
- Vic's Taxonomy page
- Royal Entomological Society of Antwerp

We don't proceed with revolution, we do with evolution.

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