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Adult butterflies have antennae, compound eyes, six pair of legs, a hard exoskeleton, and a body that is divided into three parts: the head, thorax, and the abdomen. Unique to the butterfly, the outer body is covered by tiny sensory hairs and the wings are covered by scales.

The head carries many sensors for the butterfly. The compound eye enables it to be aware of its immediate surroundings through a large angle. On the underside of the head is the paired proboscis, which is used to suck nectar from flowers.

Three segments make up the throax, with a pair of legs attached to each segment. The front pair of legs are non-functional and are reduced in length in some families of butterflies. The thorax also contains the flight muscles, which are attached to the base of the wings. Internally, the thorax houses the large muscles that control the wings and legs.

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