What is the difference between moths and butterflies?
Butterflies and moths are fairly similar, but what are the things that make them so different from each other?
Butterfly antennae end in club shapes but moth feelers are not like this. Many types of moth have antennae that are feather-like having tiny projections along both sides in the males. They use these to track down females utilising a very elaborate sense of smell.
Butterflies fly by day but most moths are nocturnal. There are many day-flying moths as well though and these are often brightly coloured so they get mistaken for butterflies. Some moths fly by night and day. Butterflies only fly at night when migrating and covering long distances.
Butterflies rest with their wings folded back above them but moths rest with their wings flattened.
Butterflies mainly have elaborate courtship displays in which the males seek to attract the females, but with moths the females wait passively for males of their species to find them and mate with them.
It's all about the wings.
When you were a kid did you wear butterfly wings or moth wings?
Butterflies have thin bodies, moths have thick ones. A butterfly when at rest brings its wings together in an upright position over its back; a moth has its wings folded level with its body. The upper and lower wings of most moths are fastened together by a kind of hook-and-eye arrangement, which is absent in butterflies. Most butterflies fly by day only; most moths by night only.
Moths and butterflies are different in several ways.
One marked difference between butterflies and moths is their antennae. Those of the butterfly are club-shaped at the tips, whereas those of the moth are feathery-shaped. When at rest. butterflies usually close their wings together, sticking them straight up from their backs. Moths, on the other hand, spread their wings flat to either side of them or fold them along their back. It is not true that all moths fly at night and all butterflies fly during the day. There are some day-flying moths and some evening-flying butterflies.
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