Definition of nymphalid in English:



  • An insect of a large family of strikingly marked butterflies which have small forelegs that are not used for walking, including many familiar butterflies of temperate regions.

    Compare with vanessid
    • ‘Furthermore, these gene duplications evolved after the split between the common ancestor of nymphalid and papilionid butterflies.’
    • ‘Our work includes representative taxa from all the main lineages of riodinids, lycaenids, and nymphalids.’
    • ‘About sixteen years ago, in Ontario's Lake Superior Provincial Park, Schappert chanced upon an unforgettable sight: hundreds of colorful nymphalid butterflies blanketing a black bear carcass.’
    • ‘Hypolimnas bolina is a tropical and sub-tropical nymphalid species that is known for its aggressive territorial mate-locating behavior.’
    • ‘Like many nymphalid, papilionid, and hesperiid butterflies, male H. bolina occupy and defend perching sites in forest clearings and along flight paths as a means of maximizing their encounters with receptive females.’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin Nymphalidae, from Latin nympha ‘nymph’.