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Interesting Facts About Butterflies and Moths

From the colorful wings of a Monarch butterfly to the night activities of the fluttering moth, this article offers a hodgepodge of interesting facts about these winged creatures of the day and night.

Interesting Moth Facts

Pretty Big Moth
When flying in the air, some people will mistaken the atlas moth for a medium-sized bat , making it one of the largest silk moths in the world.

Fastest Flier
The Hawk moth (also known as the Sphinx) is the fastest flying insect in the world , with the ability to reach speeds of more than 50 kph.

Antennae of Moths
The antennae of moths are either feather like or comprised of a hair like filament.

North American Insect
The largest insect in North America is the Cecropia moth.

Hairy Bodies
The reason moths have hair on their bodies is to help retain internal body temperature that they need in order to take flight.

Sources of Navigation

When moths navigate in flight, they rely on two methods: the available moon and stars, and geomagnetic clues that appear when light sources have been obscured.

Luna Moth
Born without a mouth, the Luna moth never eats or drinks during its lifetime.

Interesting Butterfly Facts

The Naming of the Butterfly
It is the yellow brimstone butterfly of Europe that led to the naming of butterflies, as it is first seen in the early spring or what is known as the “butter” season.

Big Butterflies
The largest butterflies in the world are the female Queen Alexandra butterflies from Papua and New Guinea, which can possess wingspans larger than 26 centimeters.

Location, Location, Location”¦
Butterflies and moths are found all over the world except for in the freezing-cold continent of Antarctica.

Large Gathering of Butterflies
Dwelling in the rainforests of South America, you will find more than 2,000 species of butterflies.

Fastest Butterfly Species
The Monarch is the fastest flying butterfly that has been clocked in at flying as fast as 17 miles per hour.

Butterfly Features
All butterflies share a couple of main features: six legs, one pair of antennae, and a segmented body comprised of a head, thorax, and an abdomen.

How They Taste”¦
The taste sensors of a butterfly are located on their feet.

Butterfly Size
Butterflies can be as small as 1/8 inch to as big as 12 inches.

Long Journey
Monarch butterflies embark on travels from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, which is about 2,000 miles in distance, where they return to the north during the springtime.

Colorful Wings
Pigment is not responsible for the color of wings on a butterfly, but it is the color that comes from the prism-like reaction to light reflected off of their transparent wing scales.

In Order to Fly”¦
Interestingly, a butterfly must reach a body temperature of more than 86 degrees to be able to take flight.

Butterfly Sight
A butterfly is able to distinguish red, green and yellow colors.

Name Change
Before the butterfly was named a ‘butterfly,’ it was called a ‘flutterby.’