Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera (Latin word for "scaly wing", from the Ancient Greek λεπίς (lepis) meaning scale and πτερόν (pteron) meaning wing.)

A butterfly is essentially the same as a moth but tends to fly around in the day rather than the night.


An Australian Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa kershawi). image: R.Conan-Davies

The different parts of a butterfly. image: wikipedia

Butterfly species in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year.   Many have long larval life stages while others can remain dormant in their pupal or egg stages and thereby survive harsh conditions like winter or droughts.