Butterfly versus Moth. Can you tell the difference?

Pollinators are all the buzz, and while butterflies and moths are not the most important pollinators of plants, they might possibly be the most loved.

In general, butterflies are brightly-colored and fly by day and moths are more likely to be colored in grays and browns and fly at night, but there are exceptions and that’s when things get tricky!

When moths and butterflies are at rest it’s easier to see other differences. Butterflies tend to hold their wings either partially open or closed vertically. On the other hand, most moths hold their wings flat.

Moths tend to be fatter and hairy than butterflies and when it comes to their antennae, a moth antenna may be broad and feathery (usually males), or a single filament that tapers to a point (females). Whereas, a butterfly antenna is typically a single filament with a clubbed tip.

Can you tell which is a butterfly or a moth?

The Answer.

The picture on the left is a Tiger moth and on the right are Dun Skipper butterflies. Despite the colors of the Tiger moth, the feathery antennae and the flat wings are the biggest identification clues.