Insect Order Lepidoptera


Insect Order Lepidoptera

Order: Lepidoptera
(lepidos – a scale pteron = wing)
E.g. Butterflies and Moths

Economic Importance:

Many destructive crop pests, species are moths, their larvae feed voraciously on crop plants, Silk moths are useful insects.


1. Insects with two pairs of membranous wings with few cross veins.
2.  The body wings and appendages clothed with broad scales.
3. Mandibles almost always vestigial or absent.
4. Mouth parts represented by a suctorial proboscis formed by the maxillae (Siphoning type).
5. Larvae Eruciform, peripneustaic, frequently with 8 pairs of limbs.
6. Pupae usually adecticous and more or less obtect, generally enclosed in cocoon or an earthen cell.
7. Metamorphosis complete.

The order Lepidoptera is classified into following three suborders:-

I) Sub-order: Zeugloptera


1. Adults with functional mandibles, maxilla with lacinia developed, galea not Haustellate.
2. Female bursa copulatrix opening into common oviduct, sternite VIII and IX without apedemis.
3. Male sternite IX fused with Tergite.
4. Transuded in hind wing R not running to Sc. Running to Sc. Fore wing with fibula, hind wing with same coastal spines but no frenulum.
5. Larvae with a small post-clypeus and with 8 pairs of abdominal legs each terminating in a single hook.
6. Pupa decticous, exarate.

II) Sub-order: Monotrysia


1. Adults without functional though sometimes with vestigial mandibles, maxilla without lacinia, galea more or less Haustellate.
2. Female with 1 or 2 genital openings behind sternite IX. Male sternite IX without sacs.
3. Wings more or less distinctly aculeate.
4. Larvae with not more than 7 pairs of abdominal legs.
Family: hepialidae – e.g. Swift moth

III) Sub-order – Ditrysia


1. Adults without functional mandibles.
2. Female with opening of bursa copulatrix on sternite VIII and that of the egg pore on sternite IX.
3. Male sternite usually ‘U’ or ‘V’ shaped produced into a sacs.
4. Wings not aculeate, venation of fore and hind wing different, forewing without jugum or fibula, wing coupling apparatus.
5. Larva with not more than 5 pairs, crochet or hook bearing abdominal legs.

Important Families from Sub-order Ditrysia:

1. Gelechidiae             e.g. Potato tubermoth, Pink boll worm, Groundnut leaf miner, Angumois grain moth etc.
2. Pyralidae                 e.g. Cotton leaf roller, Jowar stemborer
3. Pterophoridae          e.g. Tur plume moth
4. Noctuidae               e.g. Castor Semilooper, Gram pod borer, Cut worm, Fruit sucking moth, Army worm. Tobacco leaf eating caterpillar
5. Arctiidae                 e.g. Hairy caterpillars
6. Hesperiidae             e.g. Rice skipper
7. Sphingidae              e.g. Hawk moth, Sesamum leaf eating caterpillar, Sweet potatoleaf eating caterpillar
8. Papilionoidae          e.g. Lemon butterfly
9. Lycaenidae              e.g. Anar butterfly
10. Pieridae                 e.g. Cabbage butterfly
11. Geometridae         e.g. Loopers
12. Bombycidae          e.g. Mulberry silk worm
13. Saturniidae            e.g. Tussar and Eri silk worms
14. Crambidae             e.g. Sorghum stem borer, Sugarcane stem borer

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