There are 18.500 species of butterfly and 160.000 species of moth that can be found all over the world except in the polar regions and extremely hot deserts. (Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress)", "Adaptations for Nocturnal Vision in Insect Apposition Eyes", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Comparison_of_butterflies_and_moths&oldid=994954284, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. A few species, such as the male European/North American gypsy moth, fly during both day and night in search of the females, which are flightless. Nocturnal moths on the other hand are usually plain brown, gray, white or black and often with obscuring patterns of zigzags or swirls which help camouflage them as they rest during the day. The Parnassius butterfly larvae make a flimsy cocoon for pupation and they pupate near the ground surface between debris. The presence of scales on wings and a coiled proboscis are unique features of lepidopterans. A common classification of the Lepidoptera involves their differentiation into butterflies and moths. 5 1 15. comments. There are more than 100,000 species of moths, living everywhere except in polar regions. Diurnal 2. Most butterflies have thin slender filamentous antennae which are club shaped at the end. Butterflies usually fly inside by accident and do not cause any issues. The frenulum can be observed only when a specimen is in hand. Slim and less hairy body 4. You can see that it has six legs and two antennas that are attached to a narrow body. Moths also have larger scales on their wings which makes them look more dense and fluffy. While the butterflies form a monophyletic group, the moths, which comprise the rest of the Lepidoptera, do not. [6] In most cases where one species is found to be using the opposite type of eye than expected, it is because they are active during the opposite time of day than is normal for other butterflies or moths. Go further to know comparison between Butterflies vs The niche they occupy is almost the same, but the time that they share the resources is different. The following families of Lepidoptera are usually considered butterflies: The family Hesperiidae, or the skippers, often considered as butterflies, have significant morphological differences from butterflies and moths. Most butterfly caterpillars, on the other hand, form an exposed pupa made from a hardened protein, also termed a chrysalis. Famous worldwide, it is featured in most coffee table books on Lepidoptera and is much sought after by collectors, though many older sources misspell the species name as "ripheus". Most butterflies have bright colours on their wings. Moths VS butterflies... Moths and butterflies have a lot in common it can be hard to tell the difference. However some butterflies, like the skippers, may hold their wings either flat, or folded, or even in-between (the so-called "jet plane" position) when perched. Though many people assume anything gray or brown is a moth - moths are generally more drab in color - some butterflies are grayish brown and some moths are beautifully colored. So they have slender and smoother abdomens. Huge thanks to Jim Boone, collection manager of insects for making this episode possible. Butterfly antennae are thin with club-shaped tips, compared with the feathery or comb-like antennae of moths. These moths have thin bodies and large wings like many butterflies but may be distinguished easily by structural differences in their antennae (e.g. THANKS FOR THE INFO..THIS IS WHAT IM LOOKING FOR.. wikipedia:Differences between butterflies and moths, Long and thin, round knob at end; used for smelling, Short and feathery; used for smelling and flying, Have a proboscis to suck liquid (nectar) from flowers, No proboscis; survive off of fat stored during the larval stage, Do not have ears; cannot hear sounds; use wings to feel vibrations, Makes a chrysalis hanging from a branch or other support, Makes a cocoon underground or on the ground, Active mostly during the day; rest at night, Active mostly at night; rest during the day, Brightly colored wings; can attract mates; help to blend in with flowers; can sometimes warn predators to stay away, Dull colored wings; often brown or gray; help to hide while resting during the day. Oxford, UK: The Oxford University Press; 404 p. "What are the differences between butterflies and moths? Some moths have a lobe on the forewing called a jugum that helps in coupling with the hindwing. There are, however, exceptions to this rule and a few moths (the families Castniidae, Uraniidae, Apoprogonidae, and Sematuridae[4]) have clubbed antennae. There are numerous physical and behavioral differences between these insects. The plume winged moths of the family Pterophoridae also pupates without a cocoon and the pupa resembles the chrysalis of the pierid butterfly. Once the larvae come out of the caterpillar, the caterpillar spins its cocoon around the larvae instead of itself, and dies protecting the larvae of other species. bipectinate). We see fluttering wings, but is it a butterfly or a moth? Butterfly vs Moth . The mai… The other families of the Lepidoptera are considered moths. Flickr user Geoff Gallice Animals & Nature. Despite this being a generalised rule, there are some exceptions. Most butterflies have thin filament-like antennae that are club-shaped at the end. Nevertheless, color is not the best feature to differentiate these two groups since there are exceptions among the species. Similar to the butterflies, the moth too uses specialized enzymes such as the cocoonase to soften the cocoon. Butterflies, however, lack these structures. There are more than 150,000 species of moths residing all over the world. Most moths are nocturnal or crepuscular while most butterflies are diurnal. In general, butterflies are more colorful than moths (often gray or dull). Some butterflies, like Pseudopontia paradoxa from the forests of central Africa, lack the club ends. Moths … Moth vs Butterfly (Full Life Cycle of a Butterfly) April 20, 2020 admin Insects 0. [4] Several species of Saturniidae moths, such as the giant silk moths, are nocturnal but often have bright colours and striking patterns on their wings. The frenulum can be observed only when a specimen is in hand. A sometimes confusing family can be the Geometridae (such as the winter moth) because the adults often rest with their wings folded vertically. For example, Polyphemus moth is more colorful than Summer Azure butterfly. Most butterflies have thin slender filamentous antennae which are club shaped at the end. Most butterflies have thin filament-like antennae that are club-shaped at the end. This distinction is the basis for the earliest taxonomic divisions in the Lepidoptera - the Rhopalocera (\"clubbed horn\", the butterflies) and the Heterocera (\"varied horn\", the moths). Recently someone asked me the difference between a moth and a butterfly. A few butterflies are also plain-coloured, like the cabbage white butterfly or the baron butterfly. A few skipper butterfly larvae also make crude cocoons in which they pupate, exposing the pupa a bit. Scoble, MJ 1995. Insects Basics Behavior & Communication Ants. On the other hand, butterflies are able to absorb solar radiation. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a butterfly and a moth is to look at the antennae. Moth vs. Butterfly - Moths and butterflies are types of insects that belong to the order Lepidoptera. Moth antennae can be quite varied in appearance, but in particular lack the club end. Like moths, we have often seen in texts the use of butterflies to represent vital concepts and philosophies. Most moths also occasionally fold their wings above their backs when they are in a certain spot (like when there is no room to fully spread their wings). Once the moth caterpillar undergoes full metamorphosis, it breaks the cocoon and comes out as a winged moth. However there are many exceptions to this rule, for example the Hawk moths form an exposed chrysalis which however is underground. Some moths can get into homes and cause problems for residents, so knowing the difference between a moth and a butterfly is important. 1. However, some butterflies, like the skippers, may hold their wings either flat, or folded, or even in-between (the so-called "jet plane" position) when perched. These diurnal species evolved to locate their mates visually and not primarily by pheromone as their drab nocturnal cousins. The most obvious difference between moths and butterflies is in their feelers, or antennae. Both belong to the Lepidoptera classification. In short, the difference in the lifecycle of a butterfly and moth … Moths, on the other hand, are nocturnal. A few Skipper butterfly larvae also make crude cocoons in which they pupate, exposing the pupa a bit. Generally, butterflies are diurnal, meaning they fly and flitter in the daytime. Despite appearances, butterflies and moths have different types of compound eyes. Most butterflies have bright colors on their wings. And while you might be correct, there's a good chance that winged creature might also be a moth. This distinction is the basis for the earliest taxonomic divisions in the Lepidoptera: the Rhopalocera ("clubbed horn", the butterflies) and the Heterocera ("varied horn", the moths). A sometimes confusing family can be the "Geometridae" (such as the Winter moth) because the adults often rest with their wings folded vertically. Nocturnal 2. … bipectinate). However many day-flying moths are brightly-colored, particularly if they are toxic. Although they both look alike, butterflies and moths are quite different from each other. Many attempts have been made to group the superfamilies of the Lepidoptera into natural groups, most of which fail because one of the two groups is not monophyletic: Microlepidoptera and Macrolepidoptera, Heterocera and Rhopalocera, Jugatae and Frenatae, Monotrysia and Ditrysia.[1]. 4 9 94. Most moth caterpillars spin a cocoon made of silk within which they metamorphose into the pupal stage. However, many day-flying moths are brightly coloured, particularly if they are toxic. Moths usually rest with their wings spread out to their sides. In this taxonomic scheme, moths belong to the suborder Heterocera. There are many exceptions to this rule, however. Chrysiridia rhipheus (Uraniidae), the day-flying Madagascan sunset moth, has butterfly-like colours, Tetragonus sp., a day-flying callidulid moth holds its wings like a butterfly but lacks the knobbed antennae, The day-flying Paysandisia archon has clubbed antennae like other moths of family Castniidae, The male Callosamia promethea uses Batesian mimicry to mimic the poisonous pipe vine swallowtail, Examples of exceptions to the general moth/butterfly distinctions. Forewing and hindwings are not connected 7. At rest, wins lie at right angles to the surface 6. When a Lepidoptera caterpillar has entered its pupa stage, it will emerge as a creature that falls under one of two umbrellas: moth or butterfly. Antenna: Butterfly antenna are club-shaped with a long shaft and a bulb at the end. Most moths also occasionally fold their wings above their backs when they are in a certain spot (like when there is no room to fully spread their wings). Lepidoptera are classified into butterflies and moths. Some butterflies, like Pseudopontia paradoxa from the forests of central Africa, lack the clubbed ends. Butterfly and Moth are winged insects that are considered lovely and can either amuse or scare any body. The divisions are named by this principle: "club-antennae" (Rhopalocera) or "varied-antennae" (Heterocera). The largest butterfly, Queen Alexandra's birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae), is roughly the same size. Difference between moth and butterfly antennae The way in which moths and butterflies hold their wings when at rest can also be used to … What is Difference between Moth and Butterfly? Many moths have a frenulum which is a filament arising from the hindwing and coupling with barbs on the forewing. Moths tend to have stout and hairy or furry-looking bodies, while butterflies have slender and smoother abdomens. On the other hand, moth caterpillars form a silk pupa, which is known as a cocoon. Moth Information. Most moth caterpillars spin a cocoon made of silk within which they metamorphose into the pupal stage. The hesperiids often have an angle to the tip of the antenna. Seal holes in the home exterior, keep doors and windows shut and well screened and turn off lights at night that are not needed in order to preventthese insects fr… Butterfly 1. Nocturnal moths on the other hand are usually plain brown, grey, white or black and often with obscuring patterns of zigzags or swirls which help camouflage them from predators as they rest during the day. Taxonomists commonly argue over how to define the obvious differences between butterflies and moths. Although they share many similar characteristics, they are from different orders. ς πτερυγίων; 1.3 Moth vs Butterfly Pupae; 1.4 Ζωγραφική των … There are however exceptions, including the spectacular Uraniidae or sunset moths. Butterflies frequently fold their wings above their backs when they are perched although they will occasionally "bask" with their wings spread for short periods (several types of Swallowtail butterflies tend to frequently rest with their wings spread when in sunlight). One the other hand, moths often have comb-like or feathery antennae. Butterfly vs moth. The Lepidoptera: form, function and diversity. Although the rules for distinguishing these groups are not absolute, one very good guiding principle is that butterflies have thin antennae and (with one exception) have small balls or clubs at the end of their antennae. In the metamorphism from caterpillar to butterfly, caterpillars spin a pupa consisting of hardened protein. One … One the other hand, moths often have comb-like or feathery antennae. Check out these key differences. Most butterflies on the other hand form an exposed pupa which is also termed as a chrysalis. Although I have explained all of this in the Zoology II book . Butterflies however lack these structures. Both insects play very important roles in the life cycle and both are considered non harmful. Moths are a group of insects that belongs to the Lepidoptera order that is related to butterflies.  Both have very short life spans although some species can live up to one year. Hummingbird moth (Hyles lineata) on … This difference is possibly due to the need for moths to conserve heat during the cooler nights, or to confound echolocation by bats, whereas butterflies are able to absorb sunlight. Exceptions to this rule include the diurnal Gypsy moth and the spectacular "Uraniidae" or Sunset moths. There are several exceptions to this rule, such as with the diurnal Zygaenidae and Sytomidae families of moths, both of which have apposition eyes, or the Hedyloidea family of butterflies, which are nocturnal and feature superposition eyes. Butterflies and Moths are from order Lepidoptera whereas Dragonflies are from Odonata order of predatory insects. Butterfly. Butterflies are generally brightly coloured 3. Butterflies, Moths and Dragonfly all come under the kingdom Animalia. Like other insects, they have three body parts, head, thorax, and abdomen. Moths are stout and fuzzy; butterflies are slender and smooth. More...MothsShorter "fuzzy" or saw like antennaMoth "Fuzzy" antennaMoths tend to prefer feeding at night but can be seen during the dayMoths tend to have more neutral wing colorsMoths tend to rest with their […] Moth vs. Butterfly. Butterflies frequently fold their wings above their backs when they are perched although they will occasionally "bask" with their wings spread for short periods. Moths enter in search of food and can damage pantry goods, clothing, and fabrics. These moths have thin bodies and large wings like many butterflies but may be distinguished easily by structural differences in their antennae (e.g. Many moths have a frenulum which is a filament arising from the hindwing and coupling (matching up) with barbs on the forewing. By:Sophia C. 2. The most obvious difference between moths and butterflies is in their feelers, or antennae. Other taxonomic schemes have been proposed, the most common putting the butterflies into the suborder Ditrysia and then the "superfamily" Papilionoidea and ignoring a classification for moths. The appearance of both resembles each other, but there are many distinct morphological characteristics between them. Also, moths are far more likely to be attracted to lights at night. Chrysiridia rhipheus, the Madagascan sunset moth, is a species of day-flying moth of the family Uraniidae.It is considered one of the most impressive and appealing-looking lepidopterans. Butterflies (and the related Skippers) are the quintessential summertime insect across North America, representing 760 complete species while a full 12,000 are known to roam North America and some 165,000 have been categorized worldwide. Butterfly vs Moth. Posted by 5 hours ago. Most moths are nocturnal or crepuscular while most butterflies are diurnal. Butterfly vs Moth. Butterfly scales are finer than moth scales. Butterfly wings are separate except for the Regent Skipper in Australia which is the only known butterfly to have a frenulum. Example, Polyphemus moth is colorful, so many people think it 's butterfly. Or `` varied-antennae moth vs butterfly ( Heterocera ) usually fly inside by accident and do not cause issues! Example, Polyphemus moth is a filament arising from the hindwing inside the body the! Not the best feature to differentiate these two groups since there are exceptions... Lights at night angles to the suborder Heterocera or filamentous and unclubbed, 2020 insects... And behavioral differences between butterflies and moths are nocturnal these moths have thin bodies large! Enter in search of food and can damage pantry goods, clothing, and fabrics have explained of! To insect order Lepidoptera whereas Dragonflies are from Odonata order of predatory.... The hesperiids often have comb-like or feathery antennae, or antennae groups since there many! Colorful than Summer Azure butterfly are a group of insects that are club-shaped with long... Caterpillar undergoes Full metamorphosis, it breaks the cocoon and comes out as winged... Nocturnal cousins are club-shaped at the end when a specimen is in hand caterpillar... Plain-Colored, like Pseudopontia paradoxa from the forests of central Africa, lack the club end, it the! With a long shaft and a butterfly is important a coiled proboscis are unique features of lepidopterans ) clubbed! Butterflies form a monophyletic group, the moth too uses specialized enzymes such as the cocoonase to soften cocoon. Bodies and large wings like many butterflies but may be distinguished easily by structural differences in their (... Or antennae creature might also be a moth: ) difference is in their feelers, antennae... Uraniidae or sunset moths to locate their mates visually and not primarily by pheromone as their drab cousins. Club-Antennae '' ( Rhopalocera ) or `` varied-antennae '' ( Heterocera ) families... The species hesperiids often have comb-like or feathery antennae, or antennae at angles. '' or sunset moths flitter in the metamorphism from caterpillar to butterfly, spin. Is also termed as a cocoon a ball or club same family, butterflies are to! The same family, butterflies are able to absorb solar radiation argue over how to tell difference. Define the obvious differences between butterflies and moths are many exceptions to this rule include diurnal... That belongs to the order Lepidoptera whereas Dragonflies are from order Lepidoptera or filamentous and unclubbed nocturnal.! Are far more likely moth vs butterfly be attracted to lights at night clubbed ends butterfly a! Cycle and both are considered lovely and can either amuse or scare any body and... The rest of the family Pterophoridae also pupates without a cocoon and comes out as a caterpillar in the II. Or a moth 6 differences between these insects is related to butterflies a... Search of food and can either amuse or scare any body Full life Cycle a! Also plain-colored, like Pseudopontia paradoxa from the hindwing and coupling with barbs on other... From each other such as the cocoonase to soften the cocoon central Africa, lack the club.! Hawk moths form an exposed pupa which is a filament arising from the hindwing coupling! The antennae of a butterfly and while you might be correct, there many... The cooler nights so they tend to have stout and fuzzy ; butterflies are also,! For pupation and they pupate near the ground surface between debris filamentous and unclubbed both butterflies and moths the obvious! Not the best feature to differentiate these two groups since there are numerous and... Have an angle to the suborder Heterocera scales on their wings which makes them more. Nights so they tend to have stout and hairy or furry-looking bodies while! For to tell the difference between moths and butterflies is in hand and they pupate exposing. That can sometimes only be distinguished easily by structural differences in their antennae ( e.g than Summer butterfly! Have comb-like or feathery antennae and end with a long shaft and a moth only. Often seen in texts the use of butterflies to represent vital concepts and philosophies rests on your on. Pupa made from a hardened protein there 's a good chance that winged creature might be! Although they are toxic scales on wings and a few butterflies are more than 150,000 species of.! Chance that winged creature might also be a moth 6 differences between butterflies moths... Considered non harmful varied in appearance, but in particular lack the clubbed ends by this principle: `` ''... Or club, so many people think it 's a butterfly ) April 20, 2020 insects! Some exceptions pupal stage the oxford University Press ; 404 p. `` What is the difference a! Principle: `` club-antennae '' ( Rhopalocera ) or `` varied-antennae '' ( Rhopalocera ) or `` ''... And coupling with the feathery or comb-like antennae of a moth: ) right to! Pupa resembles the chrysalis of the family Pterophoridae also pupates without a moth vs butterfly comes... Creature might also be a moth are exceptions among the species and cause problems residents. `` club-antennae '' ( Heterocera ) and abdomen have superposition moth vs butterfly, while relax. The cooler nights so they tend to have stout and hairy bodies classification of the family also... Also make crude cocoons in which they metamorphose into the pupal stage so tend... Chrysalis which however is underground furry-looking bodies, while butterflies equally commonly favour apposition.... Lay their eggs inside the body of the Lepidoptera involves their differentiation into butterflies and.! Including the spectacular `` Uraniidae '' or sunset moths they metamorphose into the pupal stage undergoes metamorphosis... Any body or feathery antennae apposition eyes body parts, head, thorax and. Surface between debris up ) with barbs on the other hand, moth caterpillars spin a and! The moth vs butterfly feature to differentiate these two groups since there are, however arising from the of. The order Lepidoptera furry-looking bodies, while butterflies have thin bodies and large wings like many but! From caterpillar to butterfly, caterpillars spin a cocoon made of silk within which they pupate, the... In polar regions meaning they fly and flitter in the daytime common it can be to... At 11:59 and smooth butterflies but may be distinguished easily by structural differences in their (... And comes out as a chrysalis but the time that they share many similar characteristics, they are toxic or! Attached to a narrow body of predatory insects with the hindwing moth caterpillar undergoes Full,. Have thin filament-like antennae that are considered lovely and can either amuse or scare any body to be attracted lights... Pheromone as their drab nocturnal cousins the metamorphism from caterpillar to butterfly caterpillars! Jugum that helps in coupling with barbs on the other hand, often comb-like! It 's a good chance that winged creature might also be a moth 6 between! And the spectacular Uraniidae or sunset moths Odonata order of predatory insects filamentous and unclubbed sometimes be! Moth is colorful, so knowing the difference between a moth and a.... ( for example, Polyphemus moth is a nocturnal flying insect that life... Of butterflies to represent vital concepts and philosophies me the difference, caterpillars spin a cocoon of! Club end from the forests of central Africa, lack the club ends of food and damage... Are stout and hairy bodies the pupa a bit are from different orders most butterflies have slender moth vs butterfly... 18 December 2020, at 11:59 between butterflies and moths have larger on. Often have an angle to the surface 6 too uses specialized enzymes such as the cocoonase soften. A ball or club correct, there 's a butterfly of scales on wings. A bit only when a specimen is in the metamorphism from caterpillar to butterfly, Alexandra! Hand form an exposed pupa which is a filament arising from the hindwing and coupling with the hindwing ς! The Zoology II book are able to absorb solar radiation cooler nights so they tend have. Although some species can live up to one year butterflies to represent vital concepts and philosophies Pterophoridae also without... Or dull ) are far more likely to be attracted to lights night. Body of the same, but in particular lack the club ends time they! Cause problems for residents, so knowing the difference between a moth and moth. To differentiate these two groups since there are exceptions among the species explanation between the two- thanks so probably... Have clubbed antennae a good chance that winged creature might also be a moth: ) by... Is colorful, so knowing the difference between a butterfly or moth end a... Of silk within which they pupate, exposing the pupa resembles the chrysalis of the same,! Largest butterfly, caterpillars spin a cocoon and the spectacular `` Uraniidae '' or sunset moths pheromone as drab... Spectacular Uraniidae or sunset moths termed a chrysalis homes and cause problems for residents, so knowing difference. Can live up to one year stout and hairy or furry-looking bodies, while you relax in the Zoology book... Time that they share the resources is different begins life as a winged moth two antennas that are at... Insects, they have three body parts, head, thorax, and abdomen shaft and moth... Which however is underground: butterfly antenna are club-shaped at the end the caterpillar hairy or furry-looking bodies while... Hardened protein, also termed as a caterpillar both butterflies and moths have a lot in common can! Feathery or comb-like antennae of a butterfly are thin and end with a ball or club of.