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Lepidoptera

[lep-i-dop-ter-uh] /ˌlɛp ɪˈdɒp tər ə/
noun
1.
the order comprising the lepidopterous insects.
Origin
1725-1735
1725-35; < New Latin; plural of lepidopteron

lepidopteron

[lep-i-dop-ter-uh n] /ˌlɛp ɪˈdɒp tər ən/
noun, plural lepidoptera
[lep-i-dop-ter-uh] /ˌlɛp ɪˈdɒp tər ə/ (Show IPA)
1.
any lepidopterous insect.
Origin
< New Latin, equivalent to lepido- lepido- + Greek -pteron, neuter of -pteros -pterous
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for Lepidoptera
  • Cloudberry leaves are food for caterpillars of several Lepidoptera species.
  • The leaves of the chokecherry serve as food for caterpillars of various Lepidoptera.
Word Origin and History for Lepidoptera
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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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