Butterflies and moths are both members of the Lepidoptera insect family. Moths, unlike butterflies, are difficult to see because most of them are nocturnal. Many moths are as beautiful as butterflies, and some are even more so. Moths are considered toxic to humans and pets because their feces and white cocoons (left by caterpillars) contaminate food and some types of pet food (such as dry pellets).
Here are 10 moths that are visually beautiful with their vivid colors from wings to their body:
1. Luna Moth (Actias luna)
The Luna moth is a huge, brightly colored moth that lives in deciduous hardwood forests in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. This magnificent moth has a wingspan of more than 4.5 inches. The color of Luna moths is as striking as their size.
Their wings are large and green in color. There are also noticeable eyespots on both the fore and hind wings. The wings aren’t completely green. The edges of the wings are rust-colored. Each hindwing also has a long, curved tail.
2. Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas)
The Atlas moth is the world’s largest moth. An adult Atlas moth has 11-inch wingspan and a surface area of 62 square inches. They can be found in Southeast Asia’s tropical and subtropical woods. Atlas moth fore and hindwings are rusty brown with yellow, purple, black, and red markings. Atlas moth wingtips have an interesting design that resembles a snake head. They may use it to scare off the potential predators.
3. Silkworm Moth (Bombyx mori)
The silkworm is the caterpillar or larva of a silk moth. It is an economically significant insect because it is the principal producer of silk. Silkworms prefer white mulberry leaves, but they will consume other mulberry species and even osage orange.
Domestic silk moths are completely dependent on humans for reproduction due to millennia of selective breeding. They are quite different from most species of the genus Bombyx; not only have they lost their capacity to fly, but they have also lost their color pigments.
4. Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda)
Rosy maple moths can be found across much of eastern North America, from Quebec to mid-Florida and the Gulf Coast, and as far west as Texas. Rosy’s wingspan ranges from 3.4 to 5.2 cm. The moth is commonly referred to as the ‘big silk moths,’ and it is also a popular pet choice.
The entire body (head, thorax, and abdomen) is covered in a small yet dense orange-yellow coat. The legs are dark pink, and the eyes are huge and black in proportion. The primary and secondary wings are both soft pink with a dull white to yellowish-cream splotch running through the centre.
5. Garden Tiger Moth (Arctia caja)
The Garden Tiger is a brightly colored moth that can be found throughout Eurasia and North America. The orange hindwings with numerous black markings are the most appealing aspect of garden tiger moths. Their forewings are white with lovely black patterns.
The lovely color and patterning on a garden tiger’s hindwings may appear very enticing. However, they serve as a warning to their predators. When attacked, garden tiger moths flash their brilliant hind wings. If the threat persists, they will expel a deadly fluid from their bodies.
6. Io Moth (Automeris io)
The gorgeous Io moth is easily identified by its huge hind wing eyespots. The Io moth is becoming less widespread in several areas of its habitat. It is now rare in New England, where it was once plentiful, with the exception of Cape Cod and several of the Massachusetts islands, and its populations have plummeted in the Gulf States (with the exception of Louisiana) since the 1970s (Manley 1993). The beautiful Io moth caterpillar is also well-known for its terrible sting.
7. Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia)
The spectacular appearance of the Giant Leopard Moth, blackish spots on dazzling white wings has earned it reputation. This beautiful moth is also known as the eyed tiger moth. Leopard Moths can also rather large. An adult moth has a 2-inch body length and a 3-inch wingspan.
Giant leopard moths can be found in woodlands, farmlands, and gardens across the Americas. Because these lovely moths are entirely nocturnal, it is difficult to view them.
8. Death Head Moth (Acherontia atropos)
Death Head moths are named after the unique skull pattern or patch on the dorsal side of their thorax. The body is thick and bullet-shaped, with two long, thin forewings and two shorter hindwings. The body is completely covered with a soft silky coat.
Death Head moths are nocturnal and can be found in light traps or beehives looking for honey. These animals pollinate flowers such as petunias and orchids by sucking nectar from their blossoms. They can hover over the blossom like hummingbirds when gathering nectar. They are primarily found in Europe, portions of Africa, and even some parts of Asia, such as India and Saudi Arabia.
9. Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)
The Cecropia moth is the largest moth in North America, with wingspan of 5 – 6 inches. They are distinguished by their enormous size and vivid coloring. This lovely moth has a reddish body and reddish-brown wings with white and tan stripes. Cecropia moths are primarily found in the rocky mountains of the United States and Canada. However, because they are only active at night, they are difficult to spot.
10. Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae)
The Cinnabar moth is a lovely, vividly colored moth that may be found all over Europe. This moth is distinguished by red patterns on the forewings and scarlet hindwings. They can be found in meadows, wastelands, and hills.
The larvae of the cinnabar moth are as brilliant as the adult moth, with a vivid orange body. They eat the venomous ragwort leaves. The vivid color of larvae poses a threat to potential predators.
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