|Number of Species||6,000|
|Alternative Names||4 footed butterflies,Brushfooted Butterflies|
|Regional Names||(タテハチョウ科 tatehachou ka)(蛺蝶科)(Edelfalter)|
Nymphalidae is the largest family of butterflies with about 6,000 species distributed throughout most of the world. These are usually medium sized to large butterflies. Most species have a reduced pair of forelegs and many hold their colourful wings flat when resting. They are also called brush-footed butterflies or four-footed butterflies. Many species are brightly colored and include popular species such as the emperors, admirals, tortoiseshells, and fritillaries. However, the underwings are in contrast often dull and in some species look remarkably like dead leaves, or are much paler, producing a cryptic effect that helps the butterfly disappear into its surroundings.
The libytheine clade
The danaine clade
- Danainae (Milkweed butterflies. Earlier treated as distinct family Danaidae.)
- Host plant families include Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae (subfamily of Apocynaceae), and Moraceae.
- Caterpillars resemble those of the Danainae and feed on Apocynaceae.
The satyrine clade
- Tropical canopy butterflies. Caterpillars often with head spines or projections. Mostly edible species with some Batesian mimics. Host plants in the families Annonaceae, Celastraceae, Convolvulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Lauraceae, Myrtaceae, Piperaceae, Poaceae, Rhamnaceae, Rutaceae, Santalaceae, and Sapindaceae.
- Include the spectacular neotropical Morphos. Food plants include the Arecaceae, Bignoniaceae, Fabaceae, Menispermaceae, Poaceae, and Sapindaceae.
- Satyrinae (Satyrs and Browns. Earlier treated as distinct family Satyridae.)
- Host plants in the families Arecaceae, Araceae, Cyperaceae, Heliconiaceae, Poaceae, and Selaginellaceae.
- Heliconiinae (Earlier treated as distinct family Heliconiidae.)
- Colourful tropical butterflies noted for Müllerian mimicry. All species use host plants in the family Passifloraceae.
- Apaturinae (Mostly tropical)
- Host plants in the family Ulmaceae. Caterpillars smooth with bifid tails and horns on the head.
- Biblidinae (formerly in Limenitidinae)
- Cyrestinae (formerly in Limenitidinae)
- Nymphalinae (A large subfamily that sometimes includes the Limenitidinae and Biblidinae.)
- Some species migratory. Caterpillars sometimes covered in spines. Host plants include Acanthaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Convolvulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fagaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Lamiaceae, Loranthaceae, Moraceae, Plantaginaceae, Poaceae, Rubiaceae, Rutaceae, Salicaceae, Sapindaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Urticaceae, and Verbenaceae.