Butterflies and moths must be some of the most stunning insects in the UK.
Their flashy colours can range from marbled browns to fluorescent pink!
But what are the differences between a butterfly and a moth?
Both insects are part of the same family – Lepidoptera. This is a large family of insects that are closely linked to the pollination of flowering plants.
Across this family, the main differences are:
- Butterflies mainly fly in the day whereas moths fly mainly at night
- Butterflies are usually colourful whereas moths are usually small and dull looking
- Butterflies normally hold their wings out at the side when landed, moths hold them behind their backs
- The antennae of moths are large and hairy, but small and spindly on the butterfly
None of these points are without their exceptions however. A number of moth species fly in the day and as a result are very brightly coloured, such as the Wood Tiger Moth to the right.
But generally, these points will help you distinguish between a butterfly and moth. Now all that is left to do is to get out there and find some Lepidoptera!
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Take care and remember, stay on the wild side!