MothsAedia arctipennis Australian Striped Hawk Moth Case Moths Coenotes eremophilae Convolvulus Hawk Moth Day Flying Moth Four-spotted Cup Moth Leaf Case Moth Mistletoe Emperor Moth Plume Moth Ribbed Case Moth Saunders’ Case Moth (Metura elongatus) White-spotted Owl-Moth

— see Butterflies

Many resources group moths and butterflies together, however moths outnumber butterflies in numbers and species. In Australia alone, there are over 10,500 species of moths, compared with about 400 species of butterflies. Whilst there are very few species of butterflies yet to be discovered, in Australia there is estimated to be at least another 10,000 species yet to be discovered, studied and named.

White-spotted Owl-Moth (Donuca spectabilis)
White-spotted Owl-Moth (Donuca spectabilis), Alice Springs, NT

Although the rules for distinguishing between moths and butterflies are not well established, one good guiding principle is that butterflies have thin antennae and (with the exception of the family Hedylidae) have small balls or clubs at the end of their antennae. Moth antennae are usually feathery with no ball on the end. The divisions are named by this principle: “club-antennae” (Rhopalocera) or “varied-antennae” (Heterocera). Lepidoptera differs between butterflies and other organisms due to evolving a special characteristic of having the tube-like proboscis in the Middle Triassic which allowed them to acquire nectar from flowering plants.1

Check out some of the references below for some great information on moths.


Footnote & References

  1. Moth, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moth (last visited Feb. 8, 2022)
  2. Families of Moths in Australia, by Don Herbison-Evans and Stella Crossley, Coffs Harbour Butterfly House, http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/moths.html
  3. Australian Moths Online, CSIRO, https://moths.csiro.au/

MothsAedia arctipennis Australian Striped Hawk Moth Case Moths Coenotes eremophilae Convolvulus Hawk Moth Day Flying Moth Four-spotted Cup Moth Leaf Case Moth Mistletoe Emperor Moth Plume Moth Ribbed Case Moth Saunders’ Case Moth (Metura elongatus) White-spotted Owl-Moth

— see Butterflies ◦