Definition of nymphalid in US English:



  • An insect of a large family of strikingly marked butterflies that have small forelegs not used for walking, including many familiar butterflies of temperate regions, such as the monarch and viceroy.

    Family Nymphalidae (sometimes restricted to those that are now usually placed in the subfamily Nymphalinae)

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Our work includes representative taxa from all the main lineages of riodinids, lycaenids, and nymphalids.’
    • ‘Furthermore, these gene duplications evolved after the split between the common ancestor of nymphalid and papilionid butterflies.’
    • ‘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.’


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