British Wildlife Wiki


The Lepidoptera contains the Butterflies and moths. In Britain, moths are far more abundant, and are often as colourful as butterflies. Lepidoptera means "scaly-wing" in latin, and refers the the scales on the wings on lepidoptera.

Lepidoptera are very easy to identify, though some caddisflies may resemble moths, but caddisflies have hairy wings.

There are over 2400 species of moths in Britain, though these include rare immigrants and imports. A majority of these are micro moths, many of which are very similar to each other. There are 59 species of resident are regular immigrant species of butterflies.

What is the difference between butterflies and moths? It is often said that the butterflies are day-flying, while moths are nocturnal, but this isn't true, many moths fly by both day and night, and some fly only at day. Also, saying that butterflies hold their wings differently doesn't work, as many moths hold their wings like butterflies, notably, the geometrids. On a whole, butterflies have clubbed antennae, whereas moths generally don't, but some species of moths do have clubbed antennae. There are no true differences, as butterflies and moths are just names we have given species.

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