lepidoptera


noun

  1. the order comprising the lepidopterous insects.

noun, plural lep·i·dop·ter·a [lep-i-dop-ter-uh] /ˌlɛp ɪˈdɒp tər ə/.

  1. any lepidopterous insect.

n.1773, “insects with four scaly wings,” the biological classification that includes butterflies and moths, coined 1735 in Modern Latin by Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus (Karl von Linné, 1707-1778) from Greek lepido-, comb. form of lepis (genitive lepidos) “(fish) scale” (related to lepein “to peel;” see leper) + pteron “wing, feather” (see pterodactyl).

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