Myths About Moths



Summertime is a great time to hunt for the giant green Luna moth. But, it also brings up some common questions.

Where do moths they live?

What’s the difference between a moth and a butterfly? Here are some answers!

1. I captured an amazing moth! What kind is it?

Take a picture and upload it at the ButterfliesAndMoths.org, where it will be identified. You can also browse a database of the similar moths and see a map where they have been spotted.


2. Are moths and butterflies the same?

No, according to David Hembry of the University of California at Berkeley. Butterflies generally have bright colors and fly during the day. Moths are bigger and have antennae that look like brushes.


3. What is a lepidopterist and why should I care?

Do you love butterflies and moths? Visit The Lepidopterists’ Society, and you can join a society of other people interested in the study of the thousands of butterflies and moths classified as “Lepidoptera.” If you sign up for $20, you’ll even get a net.


4. T/F Moths, not butterflies, are attracted to bright lights.

Generally true. Moths fly at night, butterflies don’t. At EarthSky.org, you learn that moths – and many other flying insects – are probably more disoriented by a close light source, which confuses them.


5. T/F You can ruin a moth’s wing by touching it.

This is a myth, sort of. While it is not good to touch a butterfly or moth, a moth’s wing is designed to lose tiny scales, which look like powder. But the moth can still fly. Read more at Science.HowStuffWorks.com.

6. T/F. If you feed a Luna moth some sugar water it will live longer.

False. A Luna moth has no mouth! At BugFacts.net you learn that the Luna Moth only lives for about a week, so if you spot one, you are very lucky. It flies using energy it stored up when it was a giant worm.



Attract a moths to your back yard at night: At Grandparents.com, you can learn how to make a recipe of sweet, sticky “moth broth” out of stuff like brown sugar and a ripe banana. Next, you paint a tree with the stuff, and come back at night with a light. Hopefully, the tree will be covered with giant moths!

Set up a butterfly tent: Every year in Chris Crowell’s Kindergarten class, he sets up a tent. It’s not to go camping. It’s to keep butterflies which come from worms that he buys at InsectLore.com. For $15, you can get about five caterpillars.

8. Want to see more?

Visit Children’s Technology Review’s playlist to view select YouTube videos based on topics in this month’s column.


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