if coyotes are just indie wolves and wolves are just bass boosted dogs what the fuck are moths to butterflies


please be nice to moths im begging you



Here’s the thing:

Taxonomy is tricky. Moths and butterflies make up the insect order Lepidoptera. But… just like technically wolves and coyotes are already dogs (canids = dogs-ish I guess?), butterflies are just a type of moth. A very, very small group of insects in a gigantic, humungous, incomprehensibly more diverse order of insects. Allow me to demonstrate.


Got it? Good. Here’s the answer key (NO PEEKING BEFORE SPOTTING IT YOURSELF!). 

From Left to right:
TOP: Painted Lichen Moth, Moonseed Moth, Beautiful Tiger (moth), Grote’s Buckmoth (endangered)
BOTTOM: Eubaphe unicolor (moth), Eight-spotted Forester (moth), Ailanthus Webworm Moth, Chickweed Geometer Moth

Wait… ALL OF THEM ARE MOTHS? Of course they are. There are so few butterflies in the giant sea of moths, it’s amazing you even notice them!

Okay, okay fine. That one was tricky (or was it?). Here’s another.


Easier this time, right? Let’s see how you did! (NO CHEATING)

From Left to Right:
TOP: Checkered Skipper, Soldier Pansy, Funereal Duskywing, Dotted Checkerspot (endangered)
BOTTOM: Texas Powdered Skipper, Tawny Emperor, Reakirt’s Blue, Fatal Metalmark

Wait… so which one is the moth? NONE OF THEM THESE ARE BUTTERFLIES. “What do you mean these are butterflies, they are boring?!” Shut up I love them. “But moths are supposed to be the boring ones!” Shut up moths are cooler than a T-rex with a mohawk riding a skateboard.

Moths are furry; Moths are smooth

Left: Southern Flannel Moth; Right: Carmenta ithacae (glass wing moths)- mating pair

Moths are large; Moths are small

Left: Cecropia Moth; Right: Banded Scythris Moth

Moths are Air; Moths are Water

Left: Eggplant Leafroller Moth, caterpillars live on plants; Right: Jalisco Petrophila Moth, caterpillars are aquatic and grow up in freshwater and the adult female moths will swim into the water to lay her eggs GUYS SHE IS A MOTH!!!!!! Also: they are jumping spider mimics! Look!

Moths are Elegant; Moths are Strange

Left: Wilson’s Wood-nymph Moth; Right: Dejongia californicus Plume Moth

Moths are Perfect; I Love Them

Left: Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth; Right: Harrisina coracina

Composed May 24, 2018
All photos are mine and all but two were taken in Texas. Soldier Pansy and Beautiful Tiger were seen in Malawi.

I approve this message so much. Moths are so underrated.

Go moths!


Can I say what is the theoretical difference between moths and butterflies? In French, we have a difference between day butterflies/night butterflies, I always thought the butterfly/moth difference was the same.

Moths and butterflies are distinguished by anatomy—specifically the structure of their antennae and wing venation. But don’t take it from me!

Source: Insects by Donald J. Borror and Richard E. White

Butterflies are defined by having club-shaped antennae. Moths will have threadlike antennae, or plumose antennae.

How ‘bout some PICTURES?!

Butterflies. Left: Common Buckeye; Right: Sachem (skipper). Look at the ends of their antennae. They have a knob at the end, and otherwise their antennae are thin.

Moths with threadlike antennae. Left: Ilia Underwing; Right: Common Pinkband. Note the tips of their antennae taper to a point with no knob.

Moths with plumous antennae. Left: Yellow-collared Scape Moth; Right: Polyphemus moth (male). The amount of … plumage? can vary a lot, and males will tend to have more elaborate antennae than the females.

May 26, 2018