Moths got an unfair reputation when compared to butterflies. There are a lot of colourful moth species that outshine most butterflies, unfortunately, they are very overlooked. However, there is little difference between these two.
Many people think that moths are bland and drab, yet there are plenty of eye-catching ones that are often ignored.
Moths in nature
Most nocturnal moths tend to be dull-coloured, which helps camouflage them during the day. Coloured moths are often day-flying species. Their bright coloured wings serve as a warning to predators. Their predators are usually birds, spiders and mammals. They are also very important pollinators, to various wildflowers and crops.
What do moths eat?
More than 90% of moth species are vegetarian. Their diet as larvae consists of leaves, roots, seeds and fruits. Few moths feed as adults. They feed on nectar, sap and sugary liquids from plants and fruits.
5 Moth species more beautiful than butterflies
1.Rosy maple moth
This moth took the internet by storm because of its cotton candy appearance. Its yellow and pink pattern made people compare it to ice cream, milkshake and even a two-toned hairstyle Nicki Minaj once had.
We often tend to think that moths are nothing compared to butterflies. This charming moth proves otherwise. Although, despite its enchanting appearance, the caterpillars are quite dangerous. They are also known as Green-striped Mapleworms or stinging caterpillars. It contains a toxin in its spine which can irritate human skin.
2. Garden tiger moth
The Garden tiger moth is a very common species in the UK. Although their number has been decreasing in the previous years, they can still be found in pretty much every garden. Their wing pattern is variable. No two moths in the same garden can have the same wing pattern. The fully grown moths can be seen throughout the year, from August to June. Their larvae got the distinct name of ‘woolly bears’ because of their hairy appearance.
3. Domesticated silk moth
As a result of selective breeding, domestic silk moths are entirely dependent on humans for reproduction. There are a lot of myths and legends related to silkworms around the world.
For example, in Vietnamese folk tale, silkworms were originally a beautiful housemaid running away from her gruesome masters and living in the mountain, where she was protected by the mountain god. One day, a God came down from the sky and tried to rape her but she was able to escape. Running from the wrathful God, she died in her sleep in a cave. As she wished to continue to help other people, her soul turned to silkworms.
4. Japanese luna moth
This beautiful moth is actually an endangered species. The luna moth is one of the largest moth species existent. If you ever see a luna moth, consider yourself lucky because you will most likely never get the chance again. Due to its beauty, it is not considered a pest and control efforts are not necessary. The use of pesticide, in fact, is one of the reasons it became endangered. Although they have a distinctively big appearance, their populations don’t grow large enough to be a source of significant damage.
5. Hummingbird moth
Their flight and movement resemble that of a moth, which is where their name comes from. They even emit an audible hum similar to that of the hummingbirds. These day-flying moths are widespread throughout North America. They are a pretty common sight, so if you are lucky you might even see one in your own garden. The adults come out in early spring, but you will most likely be able to spot them in the summer when they are most active.