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Lepidopteran Adult Morphology

Please refer to the subheadings on the Menu for details of head, thorax, etc. For outstanding illustrations and images of lepidotperan morphology link to:

caps.ceris.purdue.edu/webfm_send/2217      a Power Point presentation by Todd M. Gilligan of Colorado State University


In this section only the main external features of the adult which are useful to distinguish the illustrated specimens referred to in the text of this volume are considered. More detailed treatment of the structure of lepidopteran life stages is available in other publications. Common (1990: 5-28) Section 1 ‘Structure and Life History’ is particularly comprehensive and well illustrated.


The introductions to some SE Asian lepidopteran volumes including Barlow, (1982) and Robinson, Tuck and Shaffer (1994) have similar informative coverage and they occur in the introductions to other moth books covering the fauna of other parts of the world (Heath, 1983; Lerault 2006). Many of the terms used here are explained in more detail in the Glossary.