8 Difference Between Moth and Butterfly (With Table)

Moth and butterfly are insects in class Lepidoptera. There are many differences that make them o be classified as butterfly and moth. Many people have confused the two often.

The main difference between moths and butterflies is that Butterflies are larger and tend to have more colorful patterns on their wings while moths are smaller with drab-colored wings.

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Comparison Table (Moth vs Butterfly)

Characteristics Moth Butterfly
Resting wing position They rest with their wings open. They rest with their wings closed.
Activity They are active during the night (nocturnal). They are active during the day(diurnal)
Shape of antennae The antennae have a feathery shape. The antennae are long, bare, and eject from the head in a club shape.
Frenulum They have a frenulum which is a coupling device to ensure that wings travel together during the flight. They do not have a frenulum.
Pupae Moth caterpillar form a silk pupa known as a cocoon. Butterfly caterpillar forms a pupa consisting of hard protein.
General appearance They tend to be stockier and have furry bodies. They are smooth and lean.
Eyes They have superposition eyes. They have apposition eyes.
Color They tend to be dull and less vibrant in color. They have colorful colors.
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What is a Moth?

Moths are a group of insects that includes all members in order Lepidoptera which are not butterflies. Most moth species are nocturnal. They are active during the night as that is the time, they look for their food.

When in a resting position, their wings are normally open. They have superposition eyes that enable them to see during the night. The eyes reflect light at the same angle creating images up to 1000 times brighter than acquisition eyes.

The color of their wings tends to be dull as compare to butterfly wings. Their bodies are stockier and furry. Their caterpillar forms a silk pupa known as a cocoon.

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What is a Butterfly?

A butterfly is an insect in order Lepidoptera. It belongs to the same order as the moth. They are beautiful flying insects with large scaly wings. They have three body parts, a pair of compound eyes and an exoskeleton.

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They are good at flying. They have two pairs of large wings that are colorful. They can only fly if their body temperature is above 86 degrees. As the butterfly ages, the color of the wings fades and the wings become ragged.

They go through a complete metamorphosis. That is egg, larvae, pupa then adult. Their pupa consists of a hard protein. They are adapted to live in nearly all environments.

Main Differences between Moth and Butterfly

  1. Moth rests with their wings open while butterflies rest with their wings closed.
  2. The moth is active during the night while butterflies are active during the day.
  3. Moths have feathery antennae while butterflies have long and bare antennae.
  4. Moths tend to be stockier and have furry bodies while butterflies are smooth and lean.
  5. Moths tend to dull and less vibrant in color while butterflies are colorful.

Similarities between Moth and Butterfly

  1. They belong to the same order.
  2. They both feed on various liquids to maintain their water balance and energy stores.
  3. They both have segmented bodies.
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In Conclusion

Both moths and butterflies are insects that belong to the same order. Moth has dull colors while the butterfly has very colorful colors. Butterflies are also large in body size as compared to moths.

When these two insects are resting their wings are at different states. For the moth, the wings are normally open while for butterflies the wings are normally closed. The main features that make moths different from butterflies are size and color.

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