What you think you know may not be so! Amaze your friends with these fun facts.

Random Did You Know Facts


Sep 15, 2009

Butterflies and Moths

Did you know...
the wings of butterflies and moths are actually transparent?

The iridescent scales, which overlap like shingles on a roof, give the wings the colors that we see. Contrary to popular belief, many butterflies can be held gently by the wings without harming the butterfly. Of course, some are more fragile than others, and are easily damaged if not handled very gently.

Did you know...
butterflies taste with their feet?

Their taste sensors are located in the feet, and by standing on their food, they can taste it!

All butterflies have six legs and feet. In some species such as the monarch, the front pair of legs remains tucked up under the body most of the time, and are difficult to see.

Did you know...
butterflies don't have mouths that allow them to bite or chew?

They, along with most moths have a long straw like structure called a proboscis which they use to drink nectar and juices, used much like the straw that comes with your soft drinks from McDonald's. When not in use, the proboscis remains coiled like a garden hose.

Some moths, like the Luna moth doesn't have a proboscis. Their adult lifespan is so very short they do not eat at all. They simply seek a mate, reproduce, then die.

The Asian Vampire moth pierces the skin with its strong, sharp proboscis and drinks the blood of animals. So there really are vampires, just not the kind we see in movies, humans!

Did you know...
the butterfly doesn't spin a cocoon?

You will often erroneously hear and read that the adult butterfly emerges from its cocoon. Moths spin cocoons of silken threads, often using leaves to help surround themselves.

Caterpillars shed their final skin to reveal a pupa. The outer skin of this pupa hardens to form a chrysalis which protects and hides the amazing transformation that is occurring inside.

Pupae take on a wide variety of appearances, depending on the species of butterfly. Some hang from beneath leaves or twigs. Others are girdled to the side of a stem much like a worker on a telephone pole. Some are smooth and shiny while others are rough and even spiky. Some are beautifully colored with dots and lines of gold while others are drab and barely noticeable. No matter what the design, the function is the same - to lessen the chances of being eaten by a predator and to increase the likelihood of producing an adult butterfly or moth.

Did you know...
most butterflies fly during the day, and most moths fly during the night.The best way to identify a butterfly from a moth is to look at its antenna. A butterfly's antenna have knobs at the ends of their feelers, and the ends of the moth's antenna is either feather like or plain. Most butterflies rest with their wings held up above their bodies and most moths rest with their wings spread out flat. Typically butterflies have brightly colored wings and moths have dull colored wings. Most butterflies have slender, hairless bodies, while most moths have a fat abdomen and furry bodies. Most moths have tiny hook or bristle hooking the forewings and hind wings together. Butterflies do not have this hook. Moths have existed about 100 million years longer than butterflies. So although butterflies and moths appear very much alike, there are quite a number of differences.


Dave said...

Very very cool. Being the closet science geek that I am, I eat this stuff up. I appreciate the article, keep 'em coming!

krishna kashyap av said...

Very useful stuff..
I have bookmarked your
THanks for such interesting
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