Butterflies and moths
You can spot butterflies and moths fluttering around parks, gardens, and just about anywhere that has wildflowers. Colorful flowers attract lots of butterflies, and you can watch them as they feed on nectar. Look for moths flying around streetlights at night.
Beautiful butterfly See how many different colors you can find on the wings of a butterfly. Look at the undersides too—the colors are often completely different! You can recognize this painted lady butterfly by the black and white spots on its
Moths are mostly nighttime fliers, but you can also spot them resting on walls, fences, and tree trunks during the day. Most moths are dull colored, but this Jersey tiger moth is unusually bright. Its front wings are striped just like a tiger.
A closer look A magnifying glass lets you look at butterflies, moths, and their young (caterpillars) in great detail—up to 10 times bigger than they really are. If you want to pick up a caterpillar from its leaf for a closer look, be sure to use a paintbrush so you do not harm it with your fingers.
Which is which?
They do not crawl like ants and beetles, but butterflies and moths are insects just the same. They belong to the insect group Lepidoptera, which means scaly wings.
Most butterflies are colorful, while moths are normally dull. Moths mostly have thick, hairy bodies, and feathery antennae (feelers), whereas butterfly antennae are long and thin.
Butterflies and moths have one thing that no other insects have— scales on their wings. Thousands of tiny scales are delicately arranged on the wings to give them color.
Wings carry color-coded messages that help deter enemies and attract mates. Wings of some butterflies flash bright colors in the face of danger to startle predators.
Make a butterfly
Butterfly and moth wings look very thin and fragile, but they are really quite strong. A network of veins supports the wings just like the plastic rods in a kite.
You can make your own butterfly or moth kite and decorate the wings with colorful patterns. You’ll need paper, scissors, glue, markers, paper straws, and string
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