Stunning photos of 800+ butterflies & moths worldwide. Comprehensive guide to anatomy, ecology, evolution, habitats, lifecycle, taxonomy, photography.

Welcome to learnaboutbutterflies.com !

learnaboutbutterflies.com is the most complete and authoritative on-line resource dealing with Lepidoptera worldwide. It aims to promote the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats; to illustrate and describe a large and representative selection of the world's species, and to provide detailed, accurate information about all aspects of their lives.

website updated Sunday 7th March 2010


Zaretis itys, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru.   read about this species here



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Help us save rainforests !

rainforest news

Worldwide, 50,000 square miles of rainforest is deforested every year.
Tropical deforestation accounts for 20 percent of global carbon emissions.
Every second a slice of rainforest the size of a football field is destroyed.
Every day 86,400 football fields of rainforest are destroyed.
Every year 31 million football fields of rainforest are destroyed.
Although they cover less than 2 percent of the Earth's surface area, rainforests are home to over 50 percent of the world's plant and animal life.
A typical 5 square mile area of Amazon rainforest supports 1,500 flowering plants, 750 species of tree, 450 species of bird, and over 500 species of butterfly. But soon it will all be gone.
More than 10,000 square miles of the Amazon rainforest is deliberately burnt down every year to make way for cattle pastures. These nutrient-poor pastures are only capable of supporting very low densities of cattle. Every dry season the pastures are set on fire to promote new grass growth and to destroy cattle parasites. The fires rage uncontrolled, setting alight further areas of forest. Deforested areas are much hotter and drier than the rainforests - consequently the average temperature of the entire Amazonian region rises and the humidity falls even more dramatically. This causes major changes in the vegetation structure of the remaining areas of rainforest, leading to reduced biodiversity even in protected areas.

The information presented on this website is based on 40 years of extensive personal observation of butterflies in their habitats by Adrian Hoskins, supplemented by data collated from reference books, and from professional biologists, taxonomists and ecologists. In order to make the articles more readable I have dispensed with source references on the individual pages, but these include such eminent international authorities as Bernard d'Abrera, Andrew Neild, Robert Robbins, Jorge Bizzaro, Curtis Callaghan, Gerardo Lamas, Jason Hall, Keith Willmott, Maurizio Bollino, Pat Haynes, Stéphane Attal, Ronald Brabant, Martin Honey, Kevin Tuck and Bernard Hermíer to whom I express my sincere gratitude.

I also pay tribute to Matthew Oates and Jeremy Thomas whose knowledge of the ecology of British butterflies first inspired me to take a deeper interest in the subject. Last but by no means least, I would like to thank my lepidopterist friends, particularly Steve Meredith, Andrew Neild, Tony Hoare, Peter Bruce-Jones, Colin Baker, Neil Hulme and the late Doris Ashby for the many shared pleasures on our various field trips and expeditions.


learnaboutbutterflies would like to express our thanks to Bernard & Lucilla d'Abrera for their generous donation of 11 volumes of "Butterflies of the World", an indispensable series of immense value as a tool for the identification of species photographed for this website.

I would also like to express my thanks to Colin Baker for his generous donation of computer software, and to Tony Hoare who kindly donated a copy of Willmott's "The Genus Adelpha" to the learnaboutbutterflies library. Tony has also generously donated a Nikon LS2000 film scanner which when time permits should enable me to incorporate many images from my library of 10,000 colour slides of European, African, Asian and South American butterflies.




About me

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Butterfly study holidays

Trip reports

Butterfly diary - latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Test your knowledge

Strange but true !

Where to find butterflies

Taxonomy & Evolution



Enemies of butterflies


Survival strategies

Migration / dispersal

Habitats - UK

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census


Butterfly photography

Butterflies of the British Isles

Butterflies of Europe

Butterflies of Amazon & Andes

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Africa

Butterflies of India & Nepal

Butterflies of Malaysia

Butterflies of Papua New Guinea

Butterflies of Australia

Butterflies of New Zealand

Moths - marvels of nature

Moths - Britain & Europe

Moths - Amazon & Andes

Caterpillars - the infinite variety

Insects of Amazonia

Species index

Subject index



Code of practice

Copyright - text & images


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All photographs, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins unless otherwise stated, and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text must not be published elsewhere in part or in whole without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins.


knapweed frit TEST shots

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