• Audience
    Primary school
  • Learning stage
    Stage 2, Stage 3
  • Curriculum area
    Science and Technology
  • Resource type
    Creative, Science based

On this page...


Butterflies and moths are a group of insects known as lepidopterans, which means 'scaly wings'. It is these overlapping scales that give them their spectacular colours and patterns.


  • The name of a scientist who studies insects is an entomologist!
  • Did you know when collecting a butterfly, a collector should record the date, location, habitat type, and butterfly species if known?
  • Butterflies taste with their feet!
  • Butterflies live for between one week and a year.

When an entomologist collects butterflies in the field, they might place them in a butterfly envelope folded from a rectangle of special paper. On the outside of the envelope they write the following information: the name of the butterfly (if they know it), where it was found, when it was found, the habitat in which it was found (e.g. the plant it was sitting on), and the name of the collector.

In this activity, students make their own butterfly envelope using cardboard cut-outs of species of Australian butterfly.