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