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moth,any of the large and varied group of insects which, along with the butterfliesbutterfly,
any of a large group of insects found throughout most of the world; with the moths, they comprise the order Lepidoptera. There are about 12 families of butterflies. Most adult moths and butterflies feed on nectar sucked from flowers.
..... Click the link for more information. , make up the order Lepidoptera. The moths comprise the great majority of the 100,000 species of the order, and about 70 of its 80 families.
The adult moth, like the butterfly, has sucking mouthparts, two compound eyes, and two pairs of wings that function as a single pair and are covered with flattened, dustlike scales. It is distinguished from butterflies by its stouter, usually hairy body and its unknobbed, often feathery antennae. Most moths are nocturnal in their habits, while butterflies are mostly diurnal. A moth flattens its wings against the surface on which it is resting, while most butterflies hold them vertically.
Moths range in size from species with a wingspread of 1-6 in. (2 mm) to the Atlas moth with a wingspread of 10 in. (25 cm). Many are protectively colored to match their backgrounds: their patterns may exactly resemble, for example, certain lichens or the bark of certain trees. Many others have large, eyelike markings on the hind wings that are thought to frighten potential predators.
Moths undergo a complete metamorphosis (see insectinsect,
invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda. Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.
..... Click the link for more information. ), from egg through larva and pupa to adult. Moth larvae, or caterpillarscaterpillar
, common name for the larva of a moth or butterfly. Caterpillars have distinct heads and are segmented and wormlike. They have three pairs of short, jointed legs (retained in the adult) on the thorax; in addition, they have unjointed, fleshy appendages, called
..... Click the link for more information. , are wingless and wormlike, with a row of simple eyes on either side of the body. They have chewing mouthparts and feed on leaves or other plant material. Many do great damage, such as that of the bee mothbee moth,
greater wax moth,
or honeycomb moth,
common name for an insect pest of honeycombs. Bee moths do damage during their larval stages, injuring combs and honey.
..... Click the link for more information. , the codling mothcodling moth
, small moth, Carpocapsa pomonella, whose larva is the destructive apple worm. Of European origin, it is now found wherever apples are grown. The adult moth is gray with brown markings and has a wingspan of about 3-4 in. (1.8 cm). The 3-4-in.
..... Click the link for more information. , the gypsy mothgypsy moth,
common name for a moth, Lymantria dispar, of the tussock moth family, native to Europe and Asia. Its caterpillars, or larvae, defoliate deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs. Introduced from Europe into Massachusetts c.
..... Click the link for more information. , the clothes mothclothes moth,
name for several species of moths of the family Tineidae, whose larvae feed on wool, furs, feathers, upholstery, and a variety of animal products. Clothes moths are of Old World origin.
..... Click the link for more information. , and the cutwormcutworm,
name for the larvae of many moths of the family Noctuidae (owlet moths). These larvae, or caterpillars, feed at night on the stems and roots of young plants, often cutting them off near the surface of the ground. They hide in soil by day.
..... Click the link for more information. .
The pupa of most moths is protected by a cocoon, built by the larva just before pupating. The cocoon is often made wholly or largely of silk; the cocoon of the domesticated silkwormsilkworm,
name for the larva of various species of moths, indigenous to Asia and Africa but now domesticated and raised for silk production throughout most of the temperate zone. The culture of silkworms is called sericulture.
..... Click the link for more information. moth is the source of commercial silk. Some moths make a cocoon of bits of wood or of a leaf, glued together with silk; some pupate underground. During pupation the body form changes to that of the winged adult.
Most adult moths feed on the nectar of flowers, and many plants depend on them for pollination. The short-lived adults of certain species do not eat at all. Among the large and beautiful moths of North America are the cecropia moth, largest of the E United States, and the pale green luna moth.
Moths are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
..... Click the link for more information. , class Insecta, order Lepidoptera.
What does it mean when you dream about a moth?
Moths live in darkness but are attracted by light. An answer to a condition or a problem that the dreamer has been “kept in the dark” about may be revealed and “brought into the light.”