Countershading, or Thayer's law, is a method of camouflage in which an animal's coloration is darker on the upper side and lighter on the underside of the body. This pattern is found in many species of mammals, birds and insects, both predators and prey, has occurred since at least the Cretaceous period; when light falls from above on a uniformly coloured three-dimensional object such as a sphere, it makes the upper side appear lighter and the underside darker, grading from one to the other. This pattern of light and shade makes the object appear solid, therefore easier to detect; the classical form of countershading, discovered in 1909 by the artist Abbott Handerson Thayer, works by counterbalancing the effects of self-shadowing, again with grading from dark to light. In theory this could be useful for military camouflage, but in practice it has been applied, despite the best efforts of Thayer and in the Second World War, of the zoologist Hugh Cott; the precise function of various patterns of animal coloration that have been called countershading has been debated by zoologists such as Hannah Rowland, with the suggestion that there may be multiple functions including flattening and background matching when viewed from the side.
A related mechanism, counter-illumination, adds the creation of light by bioluminescence or lamps to match the actual brightness of a background. Counter-illumination camouflage is common in marine organisms such as squid, it has been studied up to the prototype stage for military use in ships and aircraft, but it too has or never been used in warfare. The reverse of countershading, with the belly pigmented darker than the back, enhances contrast and so makes animals more conspicuous, it is found in animals, such as skunks. The pattern is used both in startle or deimatic displays and as a signal to warn off experienced predators. However, animals that habitually live upside-down but lack strong defences, such as the Nile catfish and the Luna moth caterpillar, have upside-down countershading for camouflage; the English zoologist Edward Bagnall Poulton, author of The Colours of Animals discovered the countershading of various insects, including the pupa or chrysalis of the purple emperor butterfly, Apatura iris, the caterpillar larvae of the brimstone moth, Opisthograptis luteolata and of the peppered moth, Biston betularia.
However he did he suggest that the effect occurred widely. The New Hampshire artist Abbott Handerson Thayer was one of the first to study and write about countershading. In his 1909 book Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom, he described and illustrated countershading with photographs and paintings, but wrongly claimed that all animals are countershaded. For this reason countershading is sometimes called Thayer's law. Thayer wrote: Animals are painted by Nature darkest on those parts which tend to be most lighted by the sky's light, vice versa.... The fact that a vast majority of creatures of the whole animal kingdom wear this gradation, developed to an exquisitely minute degree, are famous for being hard to see in their homes, speaks for itself. Thayer observed and painted a number of examples, including the Luna moth caterpillar Actias luna, both in its habitual upside-down feeding position, where its countershading makes it appear flat, artificially inverted from that position, where sunlight and its inverted countershading combine to make it appear shaded and therefore solid.
Thayer obtained a patent in 1902 to paint warships, both submarines and surface ships, using countershading, but failed to convince the US Navy to adopt his ideas. Hugh Bamford Cott in his 1940 book Adaptive Coloration in Animals described many instances of countershading, following Thayer in general approach but criticising Thayer's excessive claim that all animals are camouflaged with countershading. Cott called this "Thayer straining the theory to a fantastic extreme". Both Thayer and Cott included in their books photographs of a non-countershaded white cockerel against a white background, to make the point that in Thayer's words "a monochrome object can not be'obliterated', no matter what its background" or in Cott's words "Colour resemblance alone is not sufficient to afford concealment". Cott explained that Contrary to what might have been expected by any one lacking in artistic perception, the bird appears conspicuous, the back looking lighter, the breast darker, than the background, although in actual fact, back and breast are all pure white."
Countershading is observed in a wide range of animal groups, both terrestrial, such as deer, marine, such as sharks. It prey, it is used alongside other forms of camouflage including colour matching and disruptive coloration. Among predatory fish, the gray snapper, Lutianus griseus, is flattened by its countershading, while it hunts an "almost invisible" prey, the hardhead fish, Atherina laticeps which swims over greyish sands. Other countershaded marine animals include blue shark and dolphin, it tones the canvas on which are painted the Leopard's spots, the Tiger's stripes... It is the dress universally worn by rodents... It is the essential uniform adopt
Nepal the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas but includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language; the name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal.
Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans, was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala; the Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal; the Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rajput Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and British India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005; the Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the proclamation of a secular republic in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy. The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, establishes Nepal as a federal secular parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces.
Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960. Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, of which it is a founding member. Nepal is a member of the Non Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative; the military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia. Local legends have it that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times, that the word "Nepal" came into existence as the place was protected by the sage "Nemi", it is mentioned in Vedic texts. According to the Skanda Purana, a rishi called. In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a protector, he is said to have taught there. The name of the country is identical in origin to the name of the Newar people; the terms "Nepāl", "Newār", "Newāl" and "Nepār" are phonetically different forms of the same word, instances of the various forms appear in texts in different times in history.
Nepal is the learned Sanskrit form and Newar is the colloquial Prakrit form. A Sanskrit inscription dated 512 CE found in Tistung, a valley to the west of Kathmandu, contains the phrase "greetings to the Nepals" indicating that the term "Nepal" was used to refer to both the country and the people, it has been suggested that "Nepal" may be a Sanskritization of "Newar", or "Newar" may be a form of "Nepal". According to another explanation, the words "Newar" and "Newari" are vulgarisms arising from the mutation of P to V, L to R. Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years. Nepal is first mentioned in the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa as a place exporting blankets, in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad. In Samudragupta's Allahabad Pillar it is mentioned as a border country; the Skanda Purana has a separate chapter, known as "Nepal Mahatmya", with more details. Nepal is mentioned in Hindu texts such as the Narayana Puja.
Legends and ancient texts that mention the region now known as Nepal reach back to the 30th century BC. The Gopal Bansa were one of the earliest inhabitants of Kathmandu valley; the earliest rulers of Nepal were the Kiratas, peoples mentioned in Hindu texts, who ruled Nepal for many centuries. Various sources mention up to 32 Kirati kings. Around 500 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the southern regions of Nepal. From one of these, the Shakya polity, arose a prince who renounced his status to lead an ascetic life, founded Buddhism, came to be known as Gautama Buddha. By 250 BCE, the southern regions had come under the influence of the Maurya Empire of North India and became a vassal state under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE. There is a quite detailed description of the kingdom of Nepal in the account of the renowned Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monk Xuanzang, dating from about 645 CE. Stone inscriptions in the Kathmandu Valley are important sources for the history of Nepal.
The kings of the Lichhavi dynasty have been found to have r
The geometer moths are moths belonging to the family Geometridae of the insect order Lepidoptera, the moths and butterflies. Their scientific name derives from the Ancient Greek geo γη or γαια'the earth' and metron μέτρων'measure' in reference to the way their larvae, or inchworms, appear to "measure the earth" as they move along in a looping fashion. A large family, it has around 23,000 species of moths described, over 1400 species from six subfamilies indigenous to North America alone. A well-known member is the peppered moth, Biston betularia, subject of numerous studies in population genetics. Several other geometer moths are notorious pests. Many geometrids have slender abdomens and broad wings which are held flat with the hind wings visible; as such, they appear rather butterfly-like. They tend to blend into the background with intricate, wavy patterns on their wings. In some species, females have reduced wings. Most are of moderate size, about 3 cm in wingspan, but a range of sizes occur from 10–50 mm, a few species reach an larger size.
They have distinctive paired tympanal organs at the base of the abdomen. The name "Geometridae" derives from Latin geometra from Greek γεωμέτρης; this refers to the means of locomotion of the larvae or caterpillars, which lack the full complement of prolegs seen in other lepidopteran caterpillars, with only two or three pairs at the posterior end instead of the usual five pairs. Equipped with appendages at both ends of the body, a caterpillar clasps with its front legs and draws up the hind end clasps with the hind end and reaches out for a new front attachment - creating the impression that it measures its journey; the caterpillars are accordingly called loopers, spanworms, or inchworms after their characteristic looping gait. The cabbage looper and soybean looper are not inchworms, but caterpillars of a different family. In many species of geometer moths, the inchworms are about 25 mm long, they tend to be green, grey, or brownish and hide from predators by fading into the background or resembling twigs.
Many inchworms, when disturbed, stand erect and motionless on their prolegs, increasing the resemblance. Some have filaments, they are gregarious and are smooth. Some eat lichen, flowers, or pollen, while some, such as the Hawaiian species of the genus Eupithecia, are carnivorous. Certain destructive inchworms are called cankerworms; the placement of the example species follows a 1990 systematic treatment. Subfamilies are tentatively sorted in a phylogenetic sequence, from the most basal to the most advanced. Traditionally, the Archiearinae were held to be the most ancient of the geometer moth lineages, as their caterpillars have well-developed prolegs. However, it now seems that the Larentiinae are older, as indicated by their numerous plesiomorphies and DNA sequence data, they are either an basal lineage of the Geometridae – together with the Sterrhinae –, or might be considered a separate family of Geometroidea. As regards the Archiearinae, some species that were traditionally placed therein seem to belong to other subfamilies.
Larentiinae – about 5,800 species, includes the pug moths temperate, might be a distinct familySterrhinae – about 2,800 species tropical, might belong to same family as the Larentiinae Birch mocha, Cyclophora albipunctata False mocha, Cyclophora porata Maiden's blush, Cyclophora punctaria Riband wave, Idaea aversata Small fan-footed wave, Idaea biselata Single-dotted wave, Idaea dimidiata Small scallop, Idaea emarginata Idaea filicata Dwarf cream wave, Idaea fuscovenosa Rusty wave, Idaea inquinata Purple-bordered gold, Idaea muricata Bright wave, Idaea ochrata Least carpet, Idaea rusticata Small dusty wave, Idaea seriata Purple-barred yellow, Lythria cruentaria Vestal, Rhodometra sacraria Common pink-barred, Rhodostrophia vibicaria Middle lace border, Scopula decorata Cream wave, Scopula floslactata Small blood-vein, Scopula imitaria Lewes wave, Scopula immorata Lesser cream wave, Scopula immutata Mullein wave, Scopula marginepunctata Zachera moth, Semiothisa zachera Blood-vein, Timandra comae Eastern blood-vein, Timandra griseataDesmobathrinae – pantropical Geometrinae – emerald moths, about 2,300 named species, most tropical Archiearinae – 12 species.
Infant, Archiearis infans Scarce infant, Leucobrephos brephoides Oenochrominae – in some treatments used as a "wastebin taxon" for genera that are difficult to place in other groups Alsophilinae – a few genera, defoliators of trees, might belong in the Ennominae, tribe Boarmiini March moth, Alsophila aescularia Fall cankerworm, Alsophila pometariaEnnominae – about 9,700 species, including some defoliating pests, global distribution Geometridae genera incertae sedis include: Dichromodes Homoeoctenia Nearcha Fossil Geometridae taxa include: †Hydriomena? protrita Cockerell, 1922 Hausmann, A.: The geometrid moths of Europe. Apollo Books. Minet, J. & Scoble, M. J.: The Drepanoid / Geometroid Assemblage. In: N. P. Kristensen: Handbuch der Zoologie. Eine Naturgeschichte der Stämme des Tierreiches
Carl Linnaeus known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné, was a Swedish botanist and zoologist who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin, his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus. Linnaeus was born in the countryside of Småland in southern Sweden, he received most of his higher education at Uppsala University and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between 1735 and 1738, where he studied and published the first edition of his Systema Naturae in the Netherlands, he returned to Sweden where he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals and minerals, while publishing several volumes, he was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe at the time of his death. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau sent him the message: "Tell him I know no greater man on earth."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: "With the exception of Shakespeare and Spinoza, I know no one among the no longer living who has influenced me more strongly." Swedish author August Strindberg wrote: "Linnaeus was in reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist." Linnaeus has been called Princeps botanicorum and "The Pliny of the North". He is considered as one of the founders of modern ecology. In botany and zoology, the abbreviation L. is used to indicate Linnaeus as the authority for a species' name. In older publications, the abbreviation "Linn." is found. Linnaeus's remains comprise the type specimen for the species Homo sapiens following the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, since the sole specimen that he is known to have examined was himself. Linnaeus was born in the village of Råshult in Småland, Sweden, on 23 May 1707, he was the first child of Christina Brodersonia. His siblings were Anna Maria Linnæa, Sofia Juliana Linnæa, Samuel Linnæus, Emerentia Linnæa, his father taught him Latin as a small child.
One of a long line of peasants and priests, Nils was an amateur botanist, a Lutheran minister, the curate of the small village of Stenbrohult in Småland. Christina was the daughter of the rector of Samuel Brodersonius. A year after Linnaeus's birth, his grandfather Samuel Brodersonius died, his father Nils became the rector of Stenbrohult; the family moved into the rectory from the curate's house. In his early years, Linnaeus seemed to have a liking for plants, flowers in particular. Whenever he was upset, he was given a flower, which calmed him. Nils spent much time in his garden and showed flowers to Linnaeus and told him their names. Soon Linnaeus was given his own patch of earth. Carl's father was the first in his ancestry to adopt a permanent surname. Before that, ancestors had used the patronymic naming system of Scandinavian countries: his father was named Ingemarsson after his father Ingemar Bengtsson; when Nils was admitted to the University of Lund, he had to take on a family name. He adopted the Latinate name Linnæus after a giant linden tree, lind in Swedish, that grew on the family homestead.
This name was spelled with the æ ligature. When Carl was born, he was named Carl Linnæus, with his father's family name; the son always spelled it with the æ ligature, both in handwritten documents and in publications. Carl's patronymic would have been Nilsson, as in Carl Nilsson Linnæus. Linnaeus's father began teaching him basic Latin and geography at an early age; when Linnaeus was seven, Nils decided to hire a tutor for him. The parents picked a son of a local yeoman. Linnaeus did not like him, writing in his autobiography that Telander "was better calculated to extinguish a child's talents than develop them". Two years after his tutoring had begun, he was sent to the Lower Grammar School at Växjö in 1717. Linnaeus studied going to the countryside to look for plants, he reached the last year of the Lower School when he was fifteen, taught by the headmaster, Daniel Lannerus, interested in botany. Lannerus gave him the run of his garden, he introduced him to Johan Rothman, the state doctor of Småland and a teacher at Katedralskolan in Växjö.
A botanist, Rothman broadened Linnaeus's interest in botany and helped him develop an interest in medicine. By the age of 17, Linnaeus had become well acquainted with the existing botanical literature, he remarks in his journal that he "read day and night, knowing like the back of my hand, Arvidh Månsson's Rydaholm Book of Herbs, Tillandz's Flora Åboensis, Palmberg's Serta Florea Suecana, Bromelii Chloros Gothica and Rudbeckii Hortus Upsaliensis...."Linnaeus entered the Växjö Katedralskola in 1724, where he studied Greek, Hebrew and mathematics, a curriculum designed for boys preparing for the priesthood. In the last year at the gymnasium, Linnaeus's father visited to ask the professors how his son's studies were progressing. Rothman believed otherwise; the doctor offered to have Linnaeus live with his family in Växjö and to teach him physiology and botany. Nils accepted this offer. Rothman showed Linnaeus that botany was a serious sub
In evolutionary biology, mimicry is an evolved resemblance between an organism and another object an organism of another species. Mimicry may evolve between individuals of the same species. Mimicry functions to protect a species from predators, making it an antipredator adaptation. Mimicry evolves if a receiver perceives the similarity between a mimic and a model and as a result changes its behaviour in a way that provides a selective advantage to the mimic; the resemblances that evolve in mimicry can be visual, chemical, tactile, or electric, or combinations of these sensory modalities. Mimicry may be to the advantage of both organisms that share a resemblance, in which case it is a form of mutualism; the evolutionary convergence between groups is driven by the selective action of a signal-receiver or dupe. Birds, for example, use whilst avoiding the noxious ones. Over time, palatable insects may evolve to resemble noxious ones, making them mimics and the noxious ones models. In the case of mutualism, sometimes both groups are referred to as "co-mimics".
It is thought that models must be more abundant than mimics, but this is not so. Mimicry may involve numerous species. Mimicry between prey species and their predators involves three or more species. In its broadest definition, mimicry can include non-living models; the specific terms masquerade and mimesis are sometimes used. For example, animals such as flower mantises, planthoppers and geometer moth caterpillars resemble twigs, leaves, bird droppings or flowers. Many animals bear eyespots, they may not resemble any specific organism's eyes, whether or not animals respond to them as eyes is unclear. Nonetheless, eyespots are the subject of a rich contemporary literature; the model is another species, except in automimicry, where members of the species mimic other members, or other parts of their own bodies, in inter-sexual mimicry, where members of one sex mimic members of the other. Mimicry can result in an evolutionary arms race if mimicry negatively affects the model, the model can evolve a different appearance from the mimic.p161 Mimicry should not be confused with other forms of convergent evolution that occurs when species come to resemble each other by adapting to similar lifestyles that have nothing to do with a common signal receiver.
Mimics may have different models for different life cycle stages, or they may be polymorphic, with different individuals imitating different models, such as in Heliconius butterflies. Models themselves may have more than one mimic, though frequency dependent selection favours mimicry where models outnumber mimics. Models tend to be closely related organisms, but mimicry of vastly different species is known. Most known mimics are insects, though many other examples including vertebrates are known. Plants and fungi may be mimics, though less research has been carried out in this area. Use of the word mimicry dates to 1637, it derives from the Greek term mimetikos, "imitative", in turn from mimetos, the verbal adjective of mimeisthai, "to imitate". Used to describe people, "mimetic" was used in zoology from 1851, "mimicry" from 1861. Many types of mimicry have been described. An overview of each follows, highlighting the similarities and differences between the various forms. Classification is based on function with respect to the mimic.
Some cases may belong to more than one class, e.g. automimicry and aggressive mimicry are not mutually exclusive, as one describes the species relationship between model and mimic, while the other describes the function for the mimic. The terminology used is not without debate and attempts to clarify have led to new terms being included; the term "masquerade" is sometimes used when the model is inanimate but it is differentiated from "crypsis" in its strict sense by the potential response of the signal receiver. In crypsis the receiver is assumed to not respond while a masquerader confuses the recognition system of the receiver that would otherwise seek the signaller. In the other forms of mimicry, the signal is not filtered out by the sensory system of the receiver; these are not mutually exclusive and in the evolution of wasp-like appearance, it has been argued that insects evolve to masquerade wasps since predatory wasps do not attack each other but this mimetic resemblance deters vertebrate predators.
Defensive or protective mimicry takes place when organisms are able to avoid harmful encounters by deceiving enemies into treating them as something else. The first three such cases discussed here entail mimicry of animals protected by warning coloration: Batesian mimicry, where a harmless mimic poses as harmful. Müllerian mimicry, where two or more harmful species mutually advertise themselves as harmful. Mertensian mimicry, where a deadly mimic resembles a less harmful but lesson-teaching model; the fourth case, Vavilovian mimicry, where weeds resemble crops, involves humans as the agent of selection. In Batesian mimicry the mimic shares signals similar to the model, but does not have the attribute that makes it unprofitable to predators. In other words, a Batesian mimic is a sheep in wolf's clothing, it is named after Henry Walter Bates, an English naturalist whose
Lepidoptera is an order of insects that includes butterflies and moths. About 180,000 species of the Lepidoptera are described, in 126 families and 46 superfamilies, 10 per cent of the total described species of living organisms, it is one of the most widespread and recognizable insect orders in the world. The Lepidoptera show many variations of the basic body structure that have evolved to gain advantages in lifestyle and distribution. Recent estimates suggest the order may have more species than earlier thought, is among the four most speciose orders, along with the Hymenoptera and Coleoptera. Lepidopteran species are characterized by more than three derived features; the most apparent is the presence of scales that cover the bodies, a proboscis. The scales are modified, flattened "hairs", give butterflies and moths their wide variety of colors and patterns. All species have some form of membranous wings, except for a few that have reduced wings or are wingless. Mating and the laying of eggs are carried out by adults near or on host plants for the larvae.
Like most other insects and moths are holometabolous, meaning they undergo complete metamorphosis. The larvae are called caterpillars, are different from their adult moth or butterfly forms, having a cylindrical body with a well-developed head, mandible mouth parts, three pairs of thoracic legs and from none up to five pairs of prolegs; as they grow, these larvae change in appearance, going through a series of stages called instars. Once matured, the larva develops into a pupa. A few butterflies and many moth species spin a silk case or cocoon prior to pupating, while others do not, instead going underground. A butterfly pupa, called a chrysalis, has a hard skin with no cocoon. Once the pupa has completed its metamorphosis, a sexually mature adult emerges; the Lepidoptera have, over millions of years, evolved a wide range of wing patterns and coloration ranging from drab moths akin to the related order Trichoptera, to the brightly colored and complex-patterned butterflies. Accordingly, this is the most recognized and popular of insect orders with many people involved in the observation, collection, rearing of, commerce in these insects.
A person who collects or studies this order is referred to as a lepidopterist. Butterflies and moths play an important role in the natural ecosystem as pollinators and as food in the food chain. In many species, the female may produce from 200 to 600 eggs, while in others, the number may approach 30,000 eggs in one day; the caterpillars hatching from these eggs can cause damage to large quantities of crops. Many moth and butterfly species are of economic interest by virtue of their role as pollinators, the silk they produce, or as pest species; the term was coined by Linnaeus in 1735 and is derived from Greek λεπίς, gen. λεπίδος and πτερόν. Sometimes, the term Rhopalocera is used for the clade of all butterfly species, derived from the Ancient Greek ῥόπαλον and κέρας meaning "club" and "horn" coming from the shape of the antennae of butterflies; the origins of the common names "butterfly" and "moth" are varied and obscure. The English word butterfly is with many variations in spelling. Other than that, the origin is unknown, although it could be derived from the pale yellow color of many species' wings suggesting the color of butter.
The species of Heterocera are called moths. The origins of the English word moth are more clear, deriving from the Old English moððe" from Common Germanic, its origins are related to Old English maða meaning "maggot" or from the root of "midge", which until the 16th century was used to indicate the larva in reference to devouring clothes. The etymological origins of the word "caterpillar", the larval form of butterflies and moths, are from the early 16th century, from Middle English catirpel, catirpeller an alteration of Old North French catepelose: cate, cat + pelose, hairy; the Lepidoptera are among the most successful groups of insects. They are found on all continents, except Antarctica, inhabit all terrestrial habitats ranging from desert to rainforest, from lowland grasslands to mountain plateaus, but always associated with higher plants angiosperms. Among the most northern dwelling species of butterflies and moths is the Arctic Apollo, found in the Arctic Circle in northeastern Yakutia, at an altitude of 1500 m above sea level.
In the Himalayas, various Apollo species such as Parnassius epaphus have been recorded to occur up to an altitude of 6,000 m above sea level. Some lepidopteran species exhibit symbiotic, phoretic, or parasitic lifestyles, inhabiting the bodies of organisms rather than the environment. Coprophagous pyralid moth species, called sloth moths, such as Bradipodicola hahneli and Cryptoses choloepi, are unusual in that they are found inhabiting the fur of sloths, mammals found in Central and South America. Two species of Tinea moths have been recorded as feeding on horny tissue and have been bred from the horns of cattle; the larva of Zenodochium coccivorella is an internal parasite of the coccid Kermes species. Many species have been recorded as breeding in natural materials or refuse such as owl pellets, bat caves, honeycombs or diseased fruit; as of 2007, there was 174,250 lepi
The ovipositor is an organ used by some animals for the laying of eggs. In insects an ovipositor consists of a maximum of three pairs of appendages; the details and morphology of the ovipositor vary, but its form is adapted to functions such as transmitting the egg, preparing a place for it, placing it properly. In some insects the organ is used to attach the egg to some surface, but in many parasitic species it is a piercing organ as well. Grasshoppers use their ovipositors to force a burrow into the earth to receive the eggs. Cicadas pierce the wood of twigs with their ovipositors to insert the eggs. Sawflies slit the tissues of plants by means of the ovipositor and so do some species of long-horned grasshoppers. In the wasp genus Megarhyssa, the females have a slender ovipositor several inches long, used to drill into the wood of tree trunks; these species are parasitic in the larval stage on the larvae of horntail wasps, hence the egg must be deposited directly into the host's body as it is feeding.
Impressively, the ovipositor of the giant ichneumon wasp is the longest egg-laying organ known among biologists. The stings of the Aculeata are ovipositors modified and with associated venom glands, they are used as defensive weapons. The penetrating sting plus venom allows the wasp to lay eggs with less risk of injury from the host. In some cases the injection introduces virus particles that suppress the host's immune system and prevent it from destroying the eggs. However, in all stinging Hymenoptera, the ovipositor is no longer used for egg-laying. An exception is the family Chrysididae, members of the Hymenoptera, in which species such as Chrysis ignita have reduced stinging apparatus and a functional ovipositor; some insects, such as the Dipteran families Tephritidae and Pyrgotidae have well-developed ovipositors only retracted when not in use, the part that sticks out is called the scape or oviscape, meaning the stalk of the ovipositor. In the breeding season of some roach-like fish, such as bitterlings, the females have an ovipositor in the form of a tubular extension of the genital orifice.
They use it when depositing eggs in the mantle cavity of the pond mussel, where their eggs develop in reasonable security. Seahorses have an ovipositor for introducing eggs into the brood pouch of the male, who carries them till it is time to release the fry into a suitable situation in the open water