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What Are Some Of The Differences Between Moths And Butterflies?

What Are Some Of The Differences Between Moths And Butterflies?

It is not uncommon for people to confuse butterflies with moths and vice versa. There are many species of moth that non-experts always seem to mistake for butterflies. This is an understandable mistake as plenty of moth species possess the large wingspans and majestic beauty of butterflies. Some people may insist that moths are clearly distinguishable from butterflies, but this is not the case as even experts do not always seem to know where to draw the line between the two insect groups. Urania leilus is one particular moth species that is frequently mistaken for a butterfly species. This Peruvian moth species sports a wide wingspan containing multi-colored designs that are similar to butterfly wings. Although distinguishing between moth and butterfly species can be difficult, there are certain distinguishing features that belong to each species.

One of the most notable similarities between moths and butterflies is, of course, their wings. The wings belonging to both of these animals contain many tiny scales that are clear to the naked eye. These scales are actually modified hairs that have a sensory purpose. In addition to common physical features, both moths and butterflies demonstrate similar behaviors. Both animals are erratic flyers, but the time of day in which they fly generally differs. Moth species are largely nocturnal while butterfly species are almost exclusively diurnal (daytime activity). However, there does exist a small amount of moth species that fly during the day, such as the buck moth, to name one. A butterfly species that flies at night is basically unheard of, but there are certain species that prefer to fly during dawn and dusk. The manner in which the insects fold their wings differs as butterflies fold their wings over their backs. Moths, on the other hand, use their wings to form a tent-like protective barrier around their abdomens. Perhaps butterflies are more intelligent than moths too, as you will never find a butterfly species that repeatedly runs into bright light bulbs during the night, as moths are well known for doing.

Have you ever spotted a moth species that possessed brightly colored wings?