HomeScienceWhat's the difference between a moth and a butterfly?

What’s the difference between a moth and a butterfly?

master mentalism tricks

Say the word “butterfly” and a brilliant, orange-and-black-winged Monarch butterfly may fly through your mind. Say “moth,” meanwhile, and the brain may conjure up an image of a dull, brown-winged pest that nibbles holes through clothing.

But is appearance really the main difference between these two types of winged insects? What exactly is the difference between moths and butterflies?

It turns out the difference is more than wing deep.

Moths and butterflies both belong to the order Lepidoptera, but there are numerous physical and behavioral differences between the two insect types.

Related: How do mosquitoes sniff out humans to bite?

First of all, moths are much more diverse than butterflies. There are about 160,000 species of moths, according to the Smithsonian Institution (opens in new tab), versus about 11,000 of butterflies.

Both types of insects have scales on their wings. But moths tend to have drab, brown or beige wings, while butterflies are typically more brilliantly decorated, Smithsonian Institution notes. 

This coloration difference may in part be due to behavioral differences between the two types of insects. Moths are nocturnal and try to camouflage themselves during the day on dark objects like bark and leaves. 

Butterflies also camouflage themselves in this way, but they are diurnal, meaning they spend the daylight hours flitting from flower to flower sipping nectar. Their brightly colored wings are often an attempt to tell predators that they contain nasty-tasting chemicals, according to Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University (opens in new tab).

Another behavioral difference between the two is that butterflies usually fold their wings back to rest, while moths flatten their wings against their bodies, BBC’s Science Focus reported (opens in new tab).

Their pupal stage (between the larva and adult stages) is slightly different, too. Moths make cocoons wrapped in silk. Butterflies, on the other hand, form chrysalises, which are hard, smooth and silkless, according to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (opens in new tab) in Henrico, Virginia.

Other physical differences abound. Butterfly antennae are thin with club-shaped tips, compared with the feathery or comb-like antennae of moths. 

In addition to the difference in wing coloration, with butterflies sporting more vibrant colors, moth wings, unlike butterfly wings, have a structure called a frenulum, which joins the forewing to the hind wing.

Though these various traits usually distinguish a butterfly from a moth, there are numerous exceptions to these rules. The comet moth or Madagascan moon moth (Argema mittrei) sports brilliant yellow wings dotted with bright red spots and is active during the day, according to the National History Museum (opens in new tab) in London. And the endangered Schaus swallowtail (Heraclides aristodemus ponceanus), which lives in Florida’s swamps,has rather boring brown coloration, speckled with some white spots, according to the University of Florida (opens in new tab).

Originally published on Live Science.

Read The Full Article Here

trick photography

Popular posts

‘Lightyear‘ Time Travel and Ending Explained
Giancarlo Esposito Has Spoken With Marvel, Wants to Play Professor
Midnight Suns Delayed Out of October
They/Them review – Mistakes novelty for importance
‘The Resort’ Team Talks Time Travel, Nostalgia & More in
Will Moving to Peacock Change Days of Our Lives?
Kenan Thompson to Host 2022 Emmys
DOJ Addresses Raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Home — How
Billie Eilish Releases New Songs “TV” and “The 30th”
How to Get Tickets to The 1975’s 2022 Tour
Bad Boy Chiller Crew Share Video for New Song “When
John Legend says he and Kanye West “haven’t been close”
How to Style Crocs This Summer
How Does It Feel to Be Doechii?
Robert Pattinson is an Anti-style Icon
How Meghan Markle Celebrated Her 41st Birthday
New Fantasy and Science Fiction Books To Dive Into
Books To Read If You Like E
Save the World as We Know It in This Terrifying
Celebrating 7 Books By David McCullough
How the massive dogs bred to protect livestock could save
Consider farmers at individual level when controlling livestock disease outbreaks
Competition limits the ranges of mountain birds
The urban beekeeping boom is hurting wild pollinator species
Delhi Government to Engage With E-Commerce Firms Over Single-Use Plastic
Meta Raises the Prices of Its Quest VR Headsets by
What You Need to Know About Crypto, NFT Laws in
Carbon Offsets Alone Won’t Make Flying Climate-Friendly