Saturday, August 11, 2007
What's the difference between a butterfly and a moth?
Butterflies and moths are evolutionarily related group of insects, called lepidoptera, that share many characteristics, including having wings covered with scales. The word lepidoptera means scaly (lepido) winged (ptera).
Many butterflies are very colorful and almost all butterflies are active exclusively during the day. In contrast, most moths are fairly drably colored and are active at night. But there are quite a few butterflies that are dull and quite a few moths that are brilliantly colored and fly during the daytime.
A better way to distinguish moths and butterflies is to look at their antennas. Butterfly antennas are shaped somewhat like a golf club, with a long shaft that has a "club" at its end. The vast majority of moths have antennas that are either simple filaments, tapering to a point at their ends, or are very complicated structures with many cross filaments, looking somewhat like radar antennas.
REFERENCE: North America Butterfly Association, CLICK HERE ...