Moth Species, Types, Facts, Lifecycle, Habitat, Reproduction, Diet, Characteristics and other interesting information is available on this page.

What is Moth?

Moths comprise a group insect related to the butterflies, in the order Lepidoptera. Most Lepidopterans are moths and approximately 160,000 species exist over the planet. The major part of moth are nocturnal, but there are also crepuscular and diurnal species.

The species is very similar to the butterflies. While the butterflies form a monophyletic group, the moths related to rest of the Lepidoptera, do not. Some of the moth’s caterpillars dig holes in the ground where they live until becoming adult moths.

Moth Scientific Name: Lepidoptera

The scientific name of the moths is Lepidoptera. The moths belong to the kingdom Animalia in the class Insecta. The word ‘moth’ comes from the old English ‘modde’. Its origins are possibly related to the old English ‘moda’ meaning ‘maggot’ or from the root of ‘midge’ which until the sixteenth century was used mostly to indicate the larva, usually in the reference to devouring clothes. Moth caterpillars make cocoons from which they become the fully grown moths with wings.

Types of Moths

Lepidoptera or moths are members of the same genetic order as butterflies. Mostly actually constitute an overwhelming majority in the order, as order Lepidoptera is contained 90% of the moths. The order Lepidoptera classified in the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta and finally order Lepidoptera. The classification of the moths is relatively unclear in the order Lepidoptera. Butterflies are generally classified in the suborder Rhopalocera but the suborder Heterocera is not usually accepted in the complementary classification of moths.

Butterflies are simply a subgroup that evolved from moths. While maintaining a separate monophyletic group of butterflies cannot be classified into one monophyletic group.  Butterflies are the part of the lineage of months, a comprehensive taxon of moths can never be made if butterflies are to be listed as a separate taxon. The order Lepidoptera can be classified into 9 major families, although the classification is not accepted worldwide:

  • Arctiidae
  • Bombycidae
  • Drepanidae
  • Geometridae
  • Lasiocampidae
  • Lymantriidae
  • Noctuidae
  • Saturniidae
  • Sphingidae

Moths Species

Here is the list of most representative species of moths:

  • Ceratophaga Vicinella
  • Eastern Death’s Head Hawk Moth
  • Hickory Tussock Moth
  • Ceratophaga Vastella
  • Giant Leopard Moth
  • Aglossa Cuprina
  • Niditinea Fuscella
  • Duponchelia Forvealis
  • Carpet Moth
  • Antheraea Assamensis
  • Mopane Worm
  • Light Brown Apple Moth
  • Buff Ermine
  • Cream Spot Tiger
  • Cinnabar Moth
  • Silver Spotted Tiger Moth
  • Lesser Wax Moth
  • Polyphemus Moth
  • Water Ermine
  • Opodiphthera Eucalypti
  • Fall Webworm Moth
  • Ailanthus Silkmoth
  • Nine Spotted Moth
  • Bella Moth
  • Isabella Tiger Moth
  • Yellow Woolly Bear
  • Ruby Tiger
  • Chionarctia Nivea
  • Bogong Moth
  • Chinese Oak Silk moth
  • White Witch
  • Com Earworm
  • Muslin moth
  • Chrysiridia Rhiphus
  • Creatonotos Gangis
  • Japanese Silk Moth
  • Greater Wax Moth
  • Garden Tiger Moth
  • Peppered Moth
  • Scarlet Tiger
  • Case Bearing Clothes Moth
  • African Death’s Head Hawk Moth
  • Codling Moth
  • Atlas Moth
  • Diamondback Moth
  • Indianmeal moth
  • Luna Moth
  • Gypsy Moth
  • Silkworm
  • Common Clothes moth

Life Cycle of Moth

The life cycle of moths undergoes through various stages to complete metamorphosis:

Egg – A life of the moth starts as an egg.

Larva – The larva or caterpillar hatches from an egg and eats leaves or flowers regularly after hatch. The caterpillar loses its old skin many times as it grows.

Pupa – this is the resting stage when it turns into pupa that protected by a cocoon or pupates on the ground or underground.

Adult – it turns into beautiful flying adult. There is no growth during this stage. This adult will continue the cycle by reproducing.

Lifespan of Moths

The lifespan of the moths is different for the species in the order Lepidoptera. It can be different in the various species of the moths. There are few species which only survive up to one week only and on the other side, there are species like painted lady which live up to 12 months.

The environment of the moths also affects the life span. If the moths are living in the wild then it can be prey for the other predators. So, it life span depends on the species of the moths, habitat, and environment as well.

Moth Habitat

Moths are insects that closely related to butterflies. Both of them belong to the order Lepidoptera. The differences between butterflies and moths are more than just taxonomy. Moths are usually active during the night and rest in the day and preferred to live in the wooded habitat.

Moths can be found in the different size, ranging in the wingspan from about 4 mm to about 30 cm. They easily adapt to the environment and live almost across the world except for habitats. Moths have distinctive feathery or thick antennae also.

Moth Facts

  • Moths are important pollinators.
  • Many adult moths don’t eat.
  • A male moth can smell female from 7 miles away.
  • They are important food for many animals.
  • Moths have curled, long tongue designed for diet based on fruits, nectar, and berries.
  • Moths can be small or pinhead or large as hand of adult man. Their wingspan ranging from 0.11 to 12 inches.
  • The few species of moth don’t have mouth such as luna, Prometheus, and atlas.
  • Moths have tiny hairs and scales on their wings. Some female species doesn’t have wings.
  • Moths navigate the flight by using moon, stars, and geomagnetic field.
  • Moths are important food for the birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, and other several invertebrates.
  • Tiger moths are the main theme of the bat food.
  • Females can reproduce only once in lifetime while males can mate couple of times. Moths can lay 40 – 1000 eggs in lifetime.

Moth Diet

The moth able to consume that can dissolved in water. They mostly feed on nectar from flowers but also eat birds droppings, tree sap, animal dung, rotting fruit, or pollen. They attracted towards sodium found in salt and sweat. This is the reason why sometimes moths landed on the peoples in park. The larvae of the moth feed natural material like silk, wood, fur, feathers, and hair.

Is a Moth an Insect?

The moths are closely related to the butterflies and belong to the insects. The moth falls in the kingdom Animalia, Clade Euarthropoda in the class Insecta and order Lepidoptera. The moth related to the insects as the butterflies also relates to this class.

Where do moths live?

The living area for the moths and butterflies is almost similar. The moths prefer the wooden places to live. The moths mostly come out during night and rest in the day in their preferable places. The moths and butterflies have many similarities. The lifespan of the moth also affect by its habitat.

Where do moths come from?

The moths are related to the butterflies belonging to the order Lepidoptera. The moths evolved long before the butterflies about 190 million years ago with fossils having been found. Both types of the Lepidoptera are thought to be evolved together with the flowering plants. Both adult and larvae of modern species feed flowering plants. Archaeoplepis Mane, one of the earliest species thought to be a moth ancestor. Its fossil fragments show scaled wings similar to caddisflies in their veining.

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