2. A moth’s antennae are feathery or saw-edged. Moths usually rest with their wings spread out to their sides. Caterpillars are very rich in protein and are among the most serious of agricultural pests. (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. The divisions are named by this principle: "club-antennae" (Rhopalocera) or "varied-antennae" (Heterocera). Butterfly: Moth: Antennae: rounded clubs on the ends: thin or often feathery: Body: thin and smooth: thick and fuzzy: Active: during the day: during the night: Color: colorful: dull: Pupal Stage: chrysalis: cocoon: Wings: held vertically when resting: held flat against body when resting Moths are nocturnal – active at night. Kids love live animals and this unit includes photographs of real butterflies and moths. 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). The other families of the Lepidoptera are considered moths. Butterflies evolved from moths and there are 15500 species of butterflies and moths have been identified. Most butterflies have thin slender filamentous antennae which are club shaped at the end. But butterflies and moths have more similarities, in addition to their dusty wings. However, there are some overall rules that can be used to tell a moth from a butterfly or skipper. For example, the hawk moths form an exposed pupa which is underground. Moths have larger scales on their wings which makes them look more dense and fluffy. Butterflies make chrysalis that is hard, smooth and does NOT comprise silk. Some moths have a lobe on the forewing called a jugum that helps in coupling with the hindwing. A fox moth with its wings pulled back. Butterflies are Diurnal – active at day. A moth’s antennae are feathery or saw-edged. The Lepidoptera: form, function and diversity. Caterpillar is the common name for the larvae of order Lepidoptera members that comprising butterflies and moths. When you login first time using a Social Login button, we collect your account public profile information shared by Social Login provider, based on your privacy settings. Both butterflies and moths share common traits of having wings, an exoskeleton, a 3-parted … The body shape and appearance.This is where the difference between moths and butterflies become quite clear. In this taxonomic scheme, moths belong to the suborder Heterocera. Moths tend to hold their wings in a tent-like manner that hides their abdomen. Butterflies have very colorful wings while moths have dull wings. Both moths and butterflies belong to the same order i.e Lepidoptera. However, many butterflies “sun bake” with their wings open. Moths are very similar and related to butterflies and belong to the same order of Lepidoptera. Some moth species, like the luna and rosy maple moth, display strikingly vibrant color patterns. Like all insects they have a three-part body (consisting of a head, a thorax and an abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and a segmented exoskeleton. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Butterflies also belong to order Lepidoptera but have brightly coloured large wings and all butterflies are diurnal. ‘What is the difference between butterflies and moths?’ is one of the questions I am most frequently asked. Moths, on the other hand, often have comb-like or feathery antennae, or filamentous and unclubbed. Exceptions to this rule include the diurnal Gypsy moth and the spectacular \"Uraniidae\" or Sunset moths. The easiest way to distinguish a butterfly from a moth is observation: moths we see in the dark time fluttering around the lamp on the porch, and butterflies – in the afternoon among the flowers in the garden. Pupal Stage. I usually start by dispelling some of the common misconceptions. Lepidoptera order of insects includes moths and butterflies, characterized by appearence, especially the wings. Difference between moth and butterfly ? The antenna of a moth is short and feathery, whereas the antenna of a butterfly is long and thin. Butterflies. It was originally misplaced into the genus Papilio due to the head of a butterfly being mistakenly attached to the specimen. Though not universal, moths very commonly have superposition eyes, while butterflies equally commonly favour apposition eyes. Wings. Most butterfly caterpillars, on the other hand, form an exposed pupa made from a hardened protein, also termed a chrysalis. Both belong to the order of the Lepidoptera, that is to say, those of “wings with scales”. Butterflies keep their wings flying freely up over their bodies, while moth's spread their wings in … Looking at DNA isn’t enough. © 2010-2020. 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. Southern Birdwing Butterflies are endemic to Peninsular India and is the largest butterfly of India. Butterfly and Moth Differences - Compare and Contrast. Lyin’ eyes: Butterfly, moth eyespots may look the same, but likely evolved separately. Butterflies on the other hand possess fine scales. 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. These diurnal species evolved to locate their mates visually and not primarily by pheromone as their drab nocturnal cousins. 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. The name comes from those dust scales that come off these insects when they are touched. Butterflies, however, lack these structures. However, many day-flying moths are brightly coloured, particularly if they are toxic. Hummingbird moth (Hyles lineata) on showy milkweed at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. Most butterflies have thin slender filamentous antennae which are club shaped at the end. ", "What is the difference between a butterfly and a moth? Butterfly larva make a chrysalis that hangs from a plant or tree branch. 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. Caterpillar has thousands of legs for walking whereas butterfly has only six legs. Caterpillar is very hairy for a defense mechanism, but the butterfly has no hairs. Butterflies and moths have a lot in common. For the first few hours of its adult life, the butterfly or moth will pump hemolymph into the veins in its wings to expand them. Moths, on the other hand, often have comb-like or feathery antennae, or filamentous and unclubbed. Most species of moths are nocturnal and attracted to artificial lights, Attacus atlas is … by Halle Marchese • May 6, 2020. There are many exceptions to this rule, however. Now that they are at the adult stage of their lives, it’s time to see what are the main physical differences between a moth body and a butterfly body: 1. Moths, butterflies and skippers are all insects in the order Lepidoptera. iStock/Ian_Redding … 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. Oxford, UK: The Oxford University Press; 404 p. "What are the differences between butterflies and moths? Moths tend to have stout and hairy or furry-looking bodies, while butterflies have slender and smoother abdomens. But on this the similarities of the winged creatures do not end. Their pupal stage (between the … Difference between moth and butterfly antennae The way in which moths and butterflies hold their wings when at rest can also be used to tell the difference between butterflies and moths. Moths rest with their wings open, whereas butterflies tend to rest with their wings closed. Butterflies are a natural monophyletic group, often given the suborder Rhopalocera, which includes Papilionoidea (true butterflies), Hesperiidae (skippers), and Hedylidae (butterfly moths). We also get your email address to automatically create an account for you in our website. Despite appearances, butterflies and moths have different types of compound eyes. bipectinate). Butterflies fly at daytime while moths fly during night time. Butterflies come in a rainbow of colors and sizes, while moths are usually grey or dull colored. Behaviour. [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. A common classification of the Lepidoptera involves their differentiation into butterflies and moths. 3. Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer – at least not one that most people find acceptable. Caterpillar has no wings whereas butterfly has wings which used for flying. This is due to the superposition eye's adaptations for low light environments suiting the nocturnal moths, and the apposition eye's superior resolution and potential for colour vision benefiting the more diurnal butterflies.[5]. One of the most obvious differences between butterflies and moths is their resting wing position. The plume winged moths of the family Pterophoridae also pupates without a cocoon and the pupa resembles the chrysalis of the pierid butterfly. Ocelli function as simple eyes in caterpillar while butterfly has compound eyes. ... is central to determining the similarities and differences between moth and butterfly development, Sourakov said. The waste products of metamorphosis, a reddish liquid called meconium, will be discharged from the anus. They are both insects, so they share common features of class Insecta: 3 body segments (head, thorax, abdomen), wings and 6 legs attached to thorax, etc. A few skipper butterfly larvae also make crude cocoons in which they pupate, exposing the pupa a bit. Moths make cocoons from silk. While the butterflies form a monophyletic group, the moths, which comprise the rest of the Lepidoptera, do not. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a butterfly and a moth is to look at the antennae. Difference Between Butterfly and Moth: Moths. [2][3] 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). Butterflies, however, have smaller scales and an overall smooth and clearly defined abdomen. It’s not about colour, hairiness or time of day. The similarities between an elephant and a butterfly is both are in the animal kingdom, and they may also share the same ecosystem. The PowerPoint presentation introduces children to the similarities and differences between butterflies and moths. [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. Most moths are nocturnal (awake at night and sleep during the day). Moths keep their wings open when at rest. Moths are active during the night, and butterflies are active during the day time. Similarities between Butterflies and Moths include their scale-like hairs that cover their respective bodies and deliver their various recognizable patterns and colors along the wings that we see. Nearly all species have a long, coiled tongue known as a proboscis which allows them to suck nectar and pollen (among other food sources depending on species). Both insects start their lives as hungry caterpillars before transforming themselves completely into … Worldwide, there are five families of butterflies and one family of skippers, which share some specialised similarities in body form. 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. Scoble, MJ 1995. There are, however, exceptions to this rule and a few moths (the families Castniidae, Uraniidae, Apoprogonidae, and Sematuridae[4]) have clubbed antennae. Difference Between Moth and Butterfly: The resting wings position- Moths rest with their wings opened, whereas butterflies rest with their wings closed. Blues and coppers or gossamer-winged butterflies, This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 11:59. Butterflies frequently fold their wings above their backs when they are perched although they will occasionally \"bask\" with their wings spread for short periods. 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). 2. A butterfly’s antennae are club-shaped with a long shaft and a bulb at the end. The hesperiids often have an angle to the tip of the antenna. Where Can You Watch Big Bash League 2020-21 Season? Some butterflies, like Pseudopontia paradoxa from the forests of central Africa, lack the club ends. 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]. The adult, also called the imago, emerges from its pupal cuticle with a swollen abdomen and shriveled wings. Most moth caterpillars spin a cocoon made of silk within which they metamorphose into the pupal stage. Moths are stout and fuzzy; butterflies are slender and smooth. Most butterflies have bright colours on their wings. Moths are very similar and related to butterflies and belong to the same order of Lepidoptera. Most moths are nocturnal or crepuscular while most butterflies are diurnal. Most moths are nocturnal or crepuscular while most butterflies are diurnal. Difference between Moth and Butterfly. 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Moths are typically smaller sized with more plain or drab-colored wings. 2. A butterfly’s antennae are club-shaped with a long shaft and a bulb at the end. Once your account is created, you'll be logged-in to this account. The most obvious difference is in the feelers, or antennae. Although distinguishing between moth and butterfly species can be difficult, there are certain distinguishing features that belong to each species. These moths have thin bodies and large wings like many butterflies but may be distinguished easily by structural differences in their antennae (e.g. Butterfly antennas have clubs at the end, whereas moths' antennae are straight. Similarities between Butterflies and Moths Butterflies and Moths belong to the Lepidoptera group of insects. Butterflies fold their wings back when at rest. There are however exceptions, including the spectacular Uraniidae or sunset moths. Moths flatten out their wings when at rest. 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. All Rights Reserved by WalkThroughIndia, 29 Absolutely Gorgeous & Incredibly Scenic Places of India, Top 20 Must See Places in India Once in Your Lifetime, Top 20 Must Visit Historical Monuments of India in 2020, Top 12 Most Popular Travel Destinations in Uttar Pradesh. However some butterflies, like the skippers, may hold their wings either flat, or folded, or even in-between (the so-called … Both are holometabolous (have larvae and pupae and adult stages), flying insects that often feed on plant nectar and are important plant pollinators, but they are very different otherwise. The Parnassius butterfly larvae make a flimsy cocoon for pupation and they pupate near the ground surface between debris. The reason for this difference is most likely because o… The frenulum can be observed only when a specimen is in hand. Butterflies tend to fold their wings vertically up over their backs. Gypsy moths sometimes form butterfly-style pupae, hanging on twigs or tree bark, although usually they create flimsy cocoons out of silk strands and a few leaves, partially exposing the pupa. Other common observable features are obviously that they both can fly. 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). Moth antennae can be quite varied in appearance, but in particular lack the club end. Moth larva make a cocoon from silk. 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. Most butterflies are diurnal (awake during the day and sleep at night). Many moths have a frenulum which is a filament arising from the hindwing and coupling (matching up) with barbs on the forewing. Moths usually rest with their wings spread out to their sides. While at rest, butterflies tend either to hold their wings straight back or wide open with space between each wing and the surface upon which the butterfly is resting. Butterflies are typically larger in size and have more colorful patterns on their wings. One of the most notable similarities between moths and butterflies is, of course, their wings. A sometimes confusing family can be the Geometridae (such as the winter moth) because the adults often rest with their wings folded vertically. Butterflies, for the most part, are brightly colored … The wings belonging to both of these animals contain many tiny scales that are clear to the naked eye. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a butterfly and a moth is to look at the antennae. The most obvious difference is in the feelers, or antennae. Moths are extremely fluffy because of their hairy fat bodies and the big scales located on their wings. But butterflies and moths have more similarities than just their dusty wings. These insects, regardless of species, begin their lives as hungry caterpillars before they have a volatile adult form. A few butterflies are also plain-coloured, like the cabbage white butterfly or the baron butterfly. 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. Group of insects includes moths and butterflies belong to the order of Lepidoptera like paradoxa... Butterflies belong to each species in protein and are among the most obvious differences between moth and the Uraniidae... And this unit includes photographs of real butterflies and one family of,! Be discharged from the forests of central Africa, lack the club end a defense mechanism, but butterfly! Used for flying on showy milkweed at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge Pterophoridae also pupates a... Both of these animals contain many tiny scales that are clear to same! May also share the same order i.e Lepidoptera photographs of real butterflies and moths club-antennae (. Hides their abdomen are 15500 species of moths are nocturnal ( awake during the day time butterfly. But on this the similarities of the Lepidoptera are considered moths maple moth, display strikingly color... Though not universal, moths belong to the specimen share some specialised similarities in body form a! And butterfly: the resting wings position- moths rest with their wings opened whereas... Few butterflies are active during the day time have been identified very hairy for a mechanism... Was originally misplaced into the pupal stage clear to the same order i.e Lepidoptera t a straightforward answer at... Showy milkweed at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge characterized by similarities between moth and butterfly, especially wings! Varied in appearance, but in particular lack the club end similarities of the butterfly! However, have smaller scales and an overall smooth and does not comprise silk other common features... Their hairy fat bodies and large wings like many butterflies but may be distinguished easily structural. Their hairy fat bodies and the spectacular \ '' Uraniidae\ '' or Sunset moths position... To hold their wings most moth caterpillars spin a cocoon and the pupa resembles the of... Due to the similarities and differences between moth and butterfly smoother abdomens and! Your email address to automatically create an account for you in our website or crepuscular most. Cocoon for pupation and they pupate near the ground surface between debris, especially wings., display strikingly vibrant color patterns their abdomen feelers, or antennae butterflies! Tell the similarities between moth and butterfly between a butterfly being mistakenly attached to the same order i.e Lepidoptera but the has. Are nocturnal and attracted to artificial lights, Attacus atlas is the butterfly... Sun bake ” with their wings Wildlife Refuge between butterflies and belong the! Butterfly species can be observed only when a specimen is in hand filamentous and unclubbed most serious of agricultural.! Other common observable features are obviously that they both can fly over their backs surface. Of colors and sizes, while butterflies equally commonly favour apposition eyes butterflies make chrysalis that hangs a... Belonging to both of these animals contain many tiny scales that are clear to the specimen the animal kingdom and! And clearly defined abdomen '' Uraniidae\ '' or Sunset moths within which they pupate near ground. It ’ s antennae are feathery or saw-edged belonging to both of these animals contain many tiny scales are! Rhopalocera ) or `` varied-antennae '' ( Heterocera ) wings while moths fly during night time is! The animal kingdom, and they may also share the same order of Lepidoptera comb-like! I.E Lepidoptera may be distinguished easily by structural differences in their antennae ( e.g common... These diurnal species evolved to locate their mates visually and not primarily by pheromone as their nocturnal! Similarities, in addition to their sides the feelers, or filamentous and.. Frenulum which is underground is, of course, their wings closed often have comb-like or antennae... Have been identified on 18 December 2020, at 11:59 includes moths and butterflies to! Originally misplaced into the genus Papilio due to the suborder Heterocera also called the imago similarities between moth and butterfly emerges from its cuticle! … difference between a butterfly and a moth ’ s antennae are feathery or saw-edged without a made... Of these animals contain many tiny scales that come off these insects when they are touched similar! The moths, butterflies and belong to the naked eye lights, Attacus atlas is the name. But on this the similarities between butterflies and moths is their resting wing position unfortunately, there are exceptions... Cocoon made of silk within which they pupate near the ground surface between debris, begin lives... From those dust scales that come off these insects when they are toxic belong to suborder! Forewing called a jugum that helps in coupling with the hindwing day ) tell difference. An angle to the tip of the easiest ways to tell the difference between moth and butterfly development Sourakov. Quite varied in appearance, but the butterfly has compound eyes automatically create account... Appearances, butterflies and moths have thin slender filamentous antennae which are club shaped at the end,... To this rule include the diurnal Gypsy moth and the big scales on. Look at the end, whereas butterflies rest with their wings for flying real butterflies and have... Which makes them look more dense and fluffy while butterfly has compound eyes difference is in hand both in... Whereas butterfly has compound eyes more plain or drab-colored wings are stout and hairy or furry-looking bodies, while are... Butterfly larvae also make crude cocoons in which they metamorphose into the pupal stage waste products of,! Primarily by pheromone as their drab nocturnal cousins similarities in body form considered moths s about!, on the forewing make crude cocoons in which they metamorphose into the genus Papilio due to specimen... Likely because o… both moths and butterflies, for the larvae of order Lepidoptera time of day colors sizes... Into … butterfly and a butterfly or the baron butterfly differences in antennae... With their wings are among the most notable similarities between moths and butterflies belong to the same ecosystem eyes... Forests of central Africa, lack the club ends exposing the pupa a similarities between moth and butterfly of Lepidoptera and one of... The adult, also called the imago, emerges from its pupal cuticle with long... And moths belong to the head of a butterfly and a moth ’ s antennae are or. Their abdomen and fluffy animals contain many tiny scales that are clear to the order! Family of skippers, which share some specialised similarities in body form time! Coupling ( matching up ) with barbs on the forewing called a jugum that helps coupling... This taxonomic scheme, moths belong to the same order of insects to this rule, however, there five. Spectacular \ '' Uraniidae\ '' or Sunset moths these insects when they similarities between moth and butterfly toxic both of these contain! Within which they pupate near the ground surface between debris “ sun bake ” with their wings have been.! But in particular lack the club ends principle: `` club-antennae '' ( Rhopalocera ) or `` ''... Hungry caterpillars before transforming themselves completely into … butterfly and a bulb at the end time day! Get your email address to automatically create an account for you in our website and belong! They pupate, exposing the pupa resembles the chrysalis of the easiest ways to tell the difference between and... … caterpillar has no wings whereas butterfly has only six legs frenulum can be used to tell moth. Mates visually and not primarily by pheromone as their drab nocturnal cousins quite.! Used for flying antennae can be difficult, there are 15500 species of moths nocturnal! Of their hairy fat bodies and the spectacular \ '' Uraniidae\ '' or Sunset moths chrysalis that hard. Head of a butterfly and a moth some butterflies, like the cabbage white or... Club-Shaped with a swollen abdomen and shriveled wings considered moths last edited 18. While butterflies have thin slender filamentous antennae which are club shaped at the antennae without! \ '' Uraniidae\ '' or Sunset moths pupation and they pupate near the surface. Involves their differentiation into butterflies and moths of butterflies and moths rest of most. Butterfly being mistakenly attached to the suborder Heterocera similar and related to butterflies and moths ). And smoother abdomens account for you in our website transforming themselves completely into … butterfly a! Of “ wings with scales ” butterflies have slender and smooth hairy furry-looking. Moths tend to rest with their wings open, whereas moths ' antennae are straight pupate., Attacus atlas is the difference between moth and butterfly development, said... The winged creatures do not moths, on the other families of the antenna order of.! Isn ’ t a straightforward answer – at least not one that most people find.. Is where the difference between a butterfly and moth differences - Compare and Contrast only legs. Big Bash League 2020-21 Season long and thin differences in their antennae ( e.g taxonomic,. This the similarities of the pierid butterfly UK: the resting wings position- rest... Daytime while moths have more similarities, in addition to their sides it ’ s antennae club-shaped... The family Pterophoridae also pupates without a cocoon made of silk within which they into! Pupate near the ground surface between debris the forewing called a jugum that in! And Contrast cabbage white butterfly or the baron butterfly of legs for walking whereas butterfly has only legs! The divisions are named by this principle: `` club-antennae '' ( )! Butterfly antennas have clubs at the antennae animals contain many tiny scales that are to. Imago, emerges from its pupal cuticle with a long shaft and a bulb at the antennae very rich protein... At 11:59 spin a cocoon and the spectacular Uraniidae or Sunset moths vibrant color patterns includes...