Difference Between Moth and Butterfly

Introduction

Butterflies and moths are insects which belong to Lepidoptera order. Approximately 1,80,000 species of Lepidoptera are present in the ecosystem. The Lepidoptera show many variations of the basic body structure that have evolved to gain advantages in lifestyle and distribution.Lepidoptera is differentiated on the basis of scale that covers the bodies, wings and a proboscis. In the same way  butterflies and moths differ widely on the basis of color and patterns. Both butterflies and moths play an important role in the maintenance of ecosystems as they act as pollinators and maintain the food chain or food web process but sometimes they create problems to farmers as their larval form destroys vegetation as their major source of food is plants. Apart from this they have economical values also such as they produce silk. 

Butterflies

Butterflies belong to the Papilionoidea super family and Lepidoptera order. Butterflies are distributed all over the world. Butterflies are active during the day and are usually brightly coloured or strikingly patterned. Life cycle of butterflies has four stages:egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The larvae and adults of most butterflies feed on plants, often only specific parts of specific types of plants. 

Moths

Moths belong to a paraphyletic group of insects and belong to order Lepidoptera. There are approximately 160,000 species of moth and most of them are undetermined. They are mainly nocturnal in nature. 

Difference between Butterflies and Moths

              Butterflies

                  Moths

1. Butterflies are diurnal in nature i.e they are active during day time.

1. Moths are nocturnal in nature.

2. Butterflies usually rest with their wings closed. 

2. Moths rest with their wings open.

3. Butterflies have long, thin antennae.

3. Moths have shorter feathery antennae.

4. Butterflies collect their  food during the day.

4. Moths collect their food during night time.

5. Butterflies make  a shiny chrysalis.

5. Moths make a silky cocoon,

6.  Butterflies sporting more vibrant colors

6. Moths have less vibrant color wings.

7. Frenulum is absent in butterflies.

7. Moths have a frenulum, which is known as a wing-coupling device.

8. Butterflies are larger in size when compared to moths.

8. Moths are smaller in size than butterflies.

9. Butterflies are about 6-11 per cent of Lepidoptera order.

9. Moths are about 89-96 percent of Lepidoptera order. 

Facts about Butterflies and Moths

1. The Percentage of moths in the ecosystem is much more than butterflies. Moths occupy 81-96 percent of total Lepidoptera order. 

2. Both moths and butterflies undergo complete metamorphosis; this is the reason they are known as holometabolous.

3.   It is not at all  true that if you touch a butterfly’s wing and the ‘powder’ rubs off that the butterfly will not be able to fly. The powder is actually tiny scales and a butterfly sheds these ‘scales’ throughout its lifetime. Their flying capability does not depend on powder present on their scales. 

4. The largest known butterflies in the world are the birdwings and the smallest known butterflies are the blues (Lycaenidae), which are found in North American and Africa. They have wingspans from 1/4 – 1/2 inches.

5. The largest known moths are the Atlas moths (Saturniidae) with wingspans as large as 12 inches and the smallest one known as pygmy moth belongs to Nepticulidae family with wingspans as small as 3/32 of an inch.

Similarities between Moths and Butterflies

1. Both moths and butterflies belong to the same order i.e Lepidoptera.

2. Both butterflies and moths share common traits of having wings, an exoskeleton, a 3-parted segmented body with 3 pairs of legs, and one pair of antennae.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Write a Few differences Present between Butterflies and Moths?

Ans: 

              Butterflies

                  Moths

1. Butterflies are diurnal in nature i.e they are active during day time.

1. Moths are nocturnal in nature.

2. Butterflies usually rest with their wings closed. 

2. Moths rest with their wings open.

3. Butterflies have long, thin antennae.

3. Moths have shorter feathery antennae.

4. Butterflies collect their  food during the day.

4. Moths collect their food during night time.

5. Butterflies make  a shiny chrysalis.

5. Moths make a silky cocoon,

6.  Butterflies sporting more vibrant colors

6. Moths have less vibrant color wings.

7. Frenulum is absent in butterflies.

7. Moths have a frenulum, which is known as a wing-coupling device.

2. Write a Note on Butterflies?

Butterflies belong to the Papilionoidea super family and Lepidoptera order. Butterflies are distributed all over the world. Butterflies are active during the day and are usually brightly coloured or strikingly patterned. Life cycle of butterflies has four stages:egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The larvae and adults of most butterflies feed on plants, often only specific parts of specific types of plants. 

3. Write a Note on Moths?

Moths belong to a paraphyletic group of insects and belong to order Lepidoptera. There are approximately 160,000 species of moth and most of them are undetermined. They are mainly nocturnal in nature. They have short feathery antennae and they mainly make silk cocoons. The color of their wings are mainly dull. 

4. Write a Few Similarities between Moths and Butterflies?

Few similarities among moth and butterflies are given below:

1.  Both moths and butterflies belong to the same order i.e Lepidoptera.

2. Both butterflies and moths share common traits of having wings, an exoskeleton, a 3-parted segmented body with 3 pairs of legs, and one pair of antennae.