Butterflies and moths of the world

Butterflies and moths of the world is a catalogue of all known genera of butterflies and moths. Genera are groups made up of similar species. The catalogue is chiefly concerned with taxonomy - the science of naming and classifying life. It is designed for use by specialists.

Go to the butterflies and moths of the world website.

Over the last 250 years, scientists have identified and named between 112,000 and 165,000 species of butterfly and moth. Butterflies & Moths of the World is a comprehensive catalogue of the generic names of these fascinating insects. It is mainly used by experts.

Butterflies and moths are classified according to a complex system. Similar species are grouped into genera (singular = genus). Genera are grouped into tribes and sub-tribes, families, sub-families and super-families. The catalogue helps researchers to explore these complicated family trees and discover the genus of any particular butterfly or moth. It provides information on the original description of a genus - who described it, and where and when their description was published.

Butterflies and moths of the world also boasts over 400 stunning colour photos of specimens from the Museum's unrivalled collection.

Cartoon image of a stegasaurus disappearing through closing door

The first collected specimen of Theobroma cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, is kept in the Museum.