Moths (Lepidoptera) (butterflies, moths). A series of insects with complete metamorphosis. Originated probably in the early Mesozoic, authentic fossils are known from a series of the Cretaceous period. Insect wings of the series, as well as most of the bodies covered with scales. Moths spread on all continents except Antarctica, and reach maximum diversity in the tropics. In Central Europe there are over 4,000 species. More than 160 000 species are described in the world fauna.