Moths Facts

Moths Facts
Moths are insects that belong to the order Lepidoptera. They are less-colorful cousins of butterflies. There are more than 150.000 species of moths that can be found around the world. Moths inhabit forests, fields, meadows, agricultural fields and human settlements. In most parts of the world, moths are classified as pests because they destroy commercially important types of fruit and crops.
Interesting Moths Facts:
Moths can be small as pinhead or large as hand of adult man. Their wingspan ranges from 0.11 to 12 inches.
Moths are active during the night and their bodies are usually dark colored (they blend with darkness of the night).
Moths have feathery or filament-like antennas on the head. Antennas are equipped with scent receptors that facilitate finding of food and partners. Moths are able to detect females that are 7 miles away thanks to exceptional sense of smell.
Moths have long, curled tongue designed for diet based on nectar, fruits and berries.
Luna, Atlas and Prometheus are species of moth that do not have mouth. They have short lifespan and their only purpose is to reproduce and lay eggs.
Moths are important pollinators of various plant species. White, fragrant flowers that open during the night attract moths with their color and odor.
Moths have tiny hairs and scales on their wings. They ensure adequate temperature of the body during the flight. Females of some species do not have wings.
Moths use moon, stars and geomagnetic field to navigate during the flight.
Moths are important source of food for the birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and numerous invertebrates. Even people in some parts of the world consume moths as valuable source of proteins and minerals.
Moths use several strategies to distract predators. Their body can resemble body of hornets, wasps, praying mantis and tarantulas or even look like bird droppings.
Tiger moths are major source of food for the bats. These moths emit sounds which distract sonar which bats use for navigation in the space and for detection of food.
Moths produce from 40 to 1.000 eggs in a lifetime. Eggs hatch after few days or couple of months (eggs of some species remain dormant during the winter and hatch at the beginning of the spring). Females reproduce only once in a lifetime, while males can mate couple of times.
Larva (caterpillar) lives from few weeks to couple of months. It usually eats plant material, wool, silk or even other insects. Fully grown larva encapsulates itself in the cocoon and transforms into adult moth.
Some moths, such as silkworms produce silk to build cocoon. People cultivate silkworms on the farms as a source of silk that is used in textile industry.
Adult moths live from 1 to 4 weeks. Males have longer lifespan than females.

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Moth vs. Butterfly