The Order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) includes about 160,000 described species, of which about 3,000 species occur in Florida. Moths and butterflies have scales on their wings, a coiled proboscis to drink fluids, and larvae (caterpillars) with prolegs on the abdomen. Caterpillars feed mainly on plants. The order includes many economically important species, model organisms, control agents for weeds, and species of conservation concern.
The Lepidoptera specimens of the FSCA are curated together with those of the Florida Museum of Natural History, in the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Gainesville, Florida. The combined collection is estimated at over 10,000,000 pinned specimens, 50,000 vials of larvae, and 20,000 dissection slides.