What Is A Moth?


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Jennifer Bone Profile
Jennifer Bone answered
A moth is a winged insect that can range wildly in size from only 2mm (.08 inch) to just over 300mm (11.8 inches) across.   They are often confused with butterflies because they are quite similar in a number of ways, but a moth is not a butterfly.  Moths usually have feathery antennae whereas butterflies typically have knobby or hooked antennae.  Moths are active at night and will rest with it’s wings horizontal, or outspread.  Butterflies, in comparison, are active during the day and will hold their wings vertically, or folded, when at rest.

There are approximately 165,000 moth species in the world and nearly 13,000 of these live in North America.  Moths begin life as a fertilized egg that hatches into a larva.  Moths in larval form can live anywhere on their host plant including on its leaves, inside the plant, or even underground on its roots.  Some larvae are aquatic and adult moths can usually be found living near the plant they fed on when they were larva.

Larva is a wingless insect with a wormlike form, commonly referred to as a caterpillar.  Different species of larva will feed on different foods.  Usually a larva will eat leaves, stems, roots, decaying plant matter, grain, or fabric made from cotton or wool.  Larva will eventually form a cocoon around itself and become a pupa.  From this latter stage, it will metamorphoses into an adult.

Adult moths have wings and their colouration will typically differ from their larval stage.  They will eat tree sap, nectar, sugary insect secretions, and other foods.  Both moth larvae and adults eat copious amounts of food and are therefore considered pests in most parts of the world.  Gypsy moths have such a gluttonous appetite that they can devastate an entire forest.

Adult moth life spans can range from only a few days to several months depending on their species.  Moths are considered to be household pests and can eat their way through clothing at a rapid rate.  Many people use mothballs to deter these insects but the active ingredient in mothballs is naphthalene, which isn’t particularly healthy for humans either.  Traditionally either juniper or cedar wood has been used to build chests and wardrobes to prevent moth infestations.  Cedar balls and planks can also be used in between layers of clothing for protection.  Lavender oil and sachets are also effective and more pleasant in odour than mothballs.  An existing infestation in wool or cotton can be stopped by putting the garment in the freezer below -7.7C (18F) for several days to kill the eggs.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Moth belongs to the category of insects and it has much resemblance with butterflies. The word "Moth" was derived from old English "maða" and its meaning is "maggot". The significance of Moth is widely recognized in the agricultural sector where their caterpillars are considered as the agricultural pests. The damages that they have caused in the forests of Northern United States are not forgettable. For more details click on the link: Moth

Charming Gurl Profile
Charming Gurl answered
A typically crepuscular or nocturnal insect having a stout body and feathery or hairlike antennae.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Moths are closely related to butterflies, both in the Lepidoptera family. Most moths are nocturnal and are found bouncing into lights at night. They can become a nuisance in the home feeding on fabrics.

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