Butterflies: Discover how butterflies differ from moths?



Without getting technical, "what is the difference between a butterfly and a moth?

  • Many butterflies are very colorful and almost all butterflies are active exclusively during the day.
  • In contrast, most moths are fairly drably colored and are active at night.
  • But there are quite a few butterflies that are dull and quite a few moths that are brilliantly colored and fly during the daytime.

A better way to distinguish moths and butterflies is to look at their antennas.

  • Butterfly antennas are shaped somewhat like a golf club, with a long shaft that has a "club" at its end.
  • The vast majority of moths have antennas that are either simple filaments, tapering to a point at their ends, or are very complicated structures with many cross filaments, looking somewhat like radar antennas."

                           Response courtesy of the North America Butterfly Association

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