Night Butterflies

Moths are cool. I think of them as night butterflies even though I know they aren’t. The distinction between moths and butterflies is surprisingly vague – and not always based on classification.
Moths have big antenna. I like saying that.
colorful mothButterflies are pretty wafting dirigibles and moths are jet fighters zooming through airspace. There are diurnal and nocturnal moths, so don’t be surprised to find one dropping by for an afternoon visit. In fact, moths come in an astounding variety of forms. The video clip of the Clearwing Hummingbird Moth demonstrates just how fast some of these little buggers move. moth
Somewhere between 150,000-250,000 different species are thought to cohabitate the planet alongside us. That’s ten times more butterfly species. The range of variation is alarming, including numerous types of befanged  vampiric moths (like you needed to know that, right?). They come in almost every color imaginable, including pastel. Some look fur-covered, and many boast unusual wing-shapes like the luna moth.
Want to learn more?

Here’s a great place to share with your kids, the Children’s Butterfly Site. Definately stop by and visit the Butterflies and Moths of North America to find out who’s floating or zooming or drifting through your part of the map.

many types of moths

If you’re looking for a special gift, check out Kjell Sandveld’s amazing photographs of the English alphabet and Arabic numerals as they naturally occur on butterfly wings. I bought one of these for my nephew when he was born and he’s now 21 and still has the framed print on the wall. You can even get your child’s name spelled out in letters made with the same photos.

That’s way better than a bunch of pretties speared through with pins.

questionsWhich moth flutters your fancy? Mothra was my favorite Saturday afternoon movie monster – which one was yours? What kinds of moths live outside your door?

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  1. #1 by Angela Wallace on August 31, 2011 - 4:18 pm

    Oo. You know, the luna moth looks like it could be a butterfly. I like that one. =)

  2. #2 by Alica McKenna Johnson on August 31, 2011 - 8:27 pm

    I lie the owl moths- the big ones that look like they have eyes on their wings. BTW- I mentioned you in my blog today 🙂

  3. #3 by Lesann Berry on August 31, 2011 - 10:38 pm

    A few months ago this gigantic moth landed on my window and I tried to figure out the species. Hah. I'd no idea there were so many. It didn't have clear identifying marks and turned out only to be fair-to-middling big on the moth scale, but I was impressed.I'd love to see a luna moth in person and the owl moths (which I had to go look up) are REALLY cool. The "eyes" on their wings do look just like an owl.Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  4. #4 by Heather Justesen on September 1, 2011 - 12:14 am

    This was seriously fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

  5. #5 by Tameri Etherton on September 1, 2011 - 12:55 am

    Wow. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I thought moths were only the little white things I see near lights at night. Truly, wonerfully fascinating! Love the luna moth.

  6. #6 by Amanda Milner on September 1, 2011 - 5:02 am

    Wow! Moths are cool! Lol! I had no idea. And that print is awesome! The luna moth is gorgeous. :)I'm in your Horror group, fyi. 😉

  7. #7 by Lesann Berry on September 1, 2011 - 5:40 am

    Heather, I'm glad you found it interesting. I was amazed to discover how many moths there are and the degree of variation was unexpected.

  8. #8 by Lesann Berry on September 1, 2011 - 5:41 am

    Tameri- I had to laugh at your comment because other than a handful of different sized moths I'd no idea there were literally thousands upon thousands. I'd really like to see a luna moth in person too.

  9. #9 by Lesann Berry on September 1, 2011 - 5:42 am

    Hi Amanda! It's so much to say "I'm in your horror group…" isn't it? I agree, moths ARE cool and the print is totally worth getting. I was skeptical at first but the pictures are pretty amazing. Thanks for visiting!

  10. #10 by elenaaitken.com on September 2, 2011 - 2:28 am

    i'm not gonna' lie, Lesann..moths kind of freak me out. Mostly because of the crazy death flight they do into lights. BUT..the luna moth does look cool. I'll give you that. 😉

  11. #11 by Lesann Berry on September 2, 2011 - 4:13 am

    Kudos to you Elena – for living dangerously and visiting the moths. lol Thee crazy death flight thing is a bummer but the really big moths are too smart for that – they waft along looking cool. At least the luna moth does. =)

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