Moth vs. Butterfly : What is the difference between a moth and a butterfly?

Moth vs. Butterfly : What is the difference between a moth and a butterfly?

Moths and butterflies are very similar flying insects that can sometimes only be distinguished by experts.

A moth is a nocturnal flying insect that begins life as a caterpillar. There are more than 100,000 species of moths, living everywhere except in polar regions. Moths are usually plant eaters. They experience four stages of life: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult. The pupa stage is when a moth builds a cocoon around itself and goes through metamorphosis from larva to adult.

A butterfly is a flying insect that begins life as a caterpillar. There are more than 10,000 species of butterflies worldwide. They are usually plant eaters. They experience four stages of life: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult. The pupa stage is when a butterfly builds a chrysalis around itself and goes through metamorphosis from larva to adult.

A moth tends to be short, stout, and less colorful, whereas a butterfly is usually long, thin, and brightly colored. Butterflies usually have larger wings than moths, which they hold vertically when at rest (moths, in contrast, flatten their wings or wrap them around themselves when at rest). Butterflies are more active during the day than moths. A butterfly's chrysalis usually hangs from a branch while a moth's cocoon is usually on the ground or underground.

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