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Contents > Resources > Scientific Classifications

Scientific Classifications

All lifeforms have a scientific classification.
Below is the classifications for New Zealand Butterflies which shows how each species relates to other Butterfly species. You will find that some species have similar names overseas as they have close genetic relatives in other parts of the world. All of New Zealand's Butterflies are in the SuperFamily Papilionoidea, which are presently seen as 'true Butterflies'. This SuperFamily consists of 5 family groups (Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae and Riodinidae), in New Zealand, we have 3 family groups present (Lycaenidae, Nymphalidae and Pieridae).

Papilionoidea comes under the orders of;
Ditrysia (Females have 2 distinct sexual openings, one for mating and a second for ovipositing)
Neolepidoptera (Have wings with double layers of scales)
Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies)
Endopterygota (Insects with complete metamorphosis)

Families of Papilionoidea found in New Zealand
(click on the purple Butterflies to open the details)

Lycaenidae (Blues, Coppers, Gossamer-winged, Hairstreaks and Harvesters)

Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)

Pieridae (Sulphurs, Whites and Yellows)

More information on Butterfly classifications can be found on the
Tree of Life website

Contents > Resources > Scientific Classifications