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Encyclopedia > Moth
Moths
Emperor Gum Moth, Opodiphthera eucalypti
Emperor Gum Moth, Opodiphthera eucalypti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera

A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly. Both are of the order Lepidoptera. The differences between butterflies and moths are more than just taxonomy. Sometimes the names "Rhopalocera" (butterflies) and "Heterocera" (moths) are used to formalize the popular distinction. Many attempts have been made to subdivide the Lepidoptera into groups such as the Microlepidoptera and Macrolepidoptera, Frenatae and Jugatae, or Monotrysia and Ditrysia. Failure of these names to persist in modern classifications is due to the fact none of them represents a pair of "monophyletic groups". The reality is that butterflies are a small group that arose from within the "moths"[citation needed] and there is thus no way to group all of the remaining taxa in a monophyletic group, as it will always exclude that one descendant lineage. Lepidopteran on a flower. ... Download high resolution version (800x639, 117 KB)Emperor Gum Moth (with black background replacing originals background). ... The Emperor Gum Moth (Opodiphthera eucalypti) is a species native to Australia, and can be easily found in all the states except for Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. ... Scientific classification or biological classification refers to how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Subphyla and Classes Subphylum Trilobitomorpha Trilobita - trilobites (extinct) Subphylum Chelicerata Arachnida - spiders,scorpions, etc. ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... Subdivisions See Taxonomy of Lepidoptera and Lepidopteran diversity. ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... Superfamilies and families Superfamily Hedyloidea: Hedylidae Superfamily Hesperioidea: Hesperiidae Superfamily Papilionoidea: Papilionidae Pieridae Nymphalidae Lycaenidae Riodinidae A butterfly is an insect of the order Lepidoptera. ... In scientific classification used in biology, the order (Latin: ordo, plural ordines) is a rank between class and family (termed a taxon at that rank). ... Subdivisions See Taxonomy of Lepidoptera and Lepidopteran diversity. ... A common classification of the Lepidoptera involves their differentiation into butterflies and moths. ... Rhopalocera and Heterocera are non-standard divisions in the taxonomy of Lepidopterans, used in an attempt to formalize the popular schoolyard distinction between butterflies and moths. ... Rhopalocera and Heterocera are non-standard divisions in the taxonomy of Lepidopterans, used in an attempt to formalize the popular schoolyard distinction between butterflies and moths. ... In phylogenetics, a group is monophyletic (Greek: of one race) if it consists of a common ancestor and all its descendants. ...


Most species of moth are nocturnal, but there are crepuscular and diurnal species. They can be distinguished from butterflies in several ways. A nocturnal animal is one that sleeps during the day and is active at night - the opposite of the human (diurnal) schedule. ... Adult Firefly or Lightning Bug – a Crepuscular Beetle Photuris lucicrescens Crepuscular is a term used to describe animals that are primarily active during the twilight. ... A diurnal animal (dī-ŭrnəl) is an animal that is active during the daytime and sleeps during the night. ... A common classification of the Lepidoptera involves their differentiation into butterflies and moths. ...

Contents

Etymology

The Modern English word "moth" comes from Old English "moððe" (cf. Northumbrian "mohðe") from Common Germanic (compare Old Norse "motti", Dutch "Mot" and German "Motte" all meaning "moth"), perhaps its origins are related to Old English "maða" meaning "maggot" or from the root of "midge" which until the 16th century was used mostly to indicate the larva, usually in reference to devouring clothes. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: ) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... Look up maggot in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Midge (disambiguation). ...


The study of butterflies and moths is known as lepidoptery, and biologists that specialise in either are called lepidopterists. As a pastime, watching butterflies and moths is known as butterflying and mothing. The latter has given rise to the term "mother" for someone who engages in this activity — sometimes written with a hyphen (moth-er) to distinguish it from its usual meaning. This confusion does not arise in speech as it is pronounced differently (IPA: /ˈmɒθɚ/, not /ˈmʌðɚ/). A lepidopterist is a person who catches and collects, or simply studies, lepidopterans, members of an order comprising butterflies, skippers, and moths. ... A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of organisms. ... Butterfly watching (also called butterflying) is a hobby concerned with the observation and study of butterflies. ... Mom and Mommy redirect here. ...


Economic significance of moths

Poplar hawk-moth caterpillar
Laothoe populi

Moths, and particularly their caterpillars, are a major agricultural pest in many parts of the world. The caterpillar of the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) causes severe damage to forests in the northeast United States, where it is an invasive species. In temperate climates, the codling moth causes extensive damage, especially to fruit farms. In tropical and subtropical climates, the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) is perhaps the most serious pest of brassicaceous crops. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 The Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi) is a moth of the family Sphingidae. ... This article is about a form of an insect. ... Binomial name Lymantria dispar Linnaeus, 1758 The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is a moth in the family Lymantriidae of Eurasian origin. ... Lantana invasion of abandoned citrus plantation; Moshav Sdey Hemed, Israel The term invasive species refers to a subset of introduced species or non-indigenous species that are rapidly expanding outside of their native range. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The term cabbage worm is primarily used for any of three species of Lepidopteran whose larvae feed on cabbages and other cole crops. ... Genera See text. ...


Several moths in the family Tineidae are commonly regarded as pests because their larvae eat fabric such as clothes and blankets made from natural proteinaceous fibers such as wool or silk. They are less likely to eat mixed materials containing artificial fibers. There are some reports that they can be repelled by the scent of wood from juniper and cedar, by lavender, or by other natural oils. However, many consider this unlikely to prevent infestation. Naphthalene (the chemical used in mothballs) is considered more effective, but there are concerns over its effects on human health. Moth larvae may be killed by freezing the items which they infest for several days at a temperature below −8 °C (18 °F). [1] Tineidae is a family of moths in the order Lepidoptera. ... It has been suggested that Textile be merged into this article or section. ... (See also List of types of clothing) Introduction Humans often wear articles of clothing (also known as dress, garments or attire) on the body (for the alternative, see nudity). ... For other uses, see Blanket (disambiguation). ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ... For other uses, see Wool (disambiguation). ... For other uses of this word, see Silk (disambiguation). ... Species Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. ... For other uses, see Cedar (disambiguation). ... R-phrases , , S-phrases , , , , Flash point 79 - 87 °C Autoignition temperature 525 °C Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 Â°C, 100 kPa) Infobox disclaimer and references Naphthalene (not to be confused with naphtha) (also known as naphthalin, naphthaline, moth ball, tar... Mothballs are small balls of chemical pesticide and deodorant used when storing clothing and other articles susceptible to damage from mold or moth larvae. ...


Moths are sturdy and usually are more resistant to pesticides than are mosquitoes and flies.


Some moths are farmed. The most notable of these is the silkworm, the larva of the domesticated moth Bombyx mori. It is farmed for the silk with which it builds its cocoon. The silk industry produces over 130 million kilograms of raw silk, worth about 250 million U.S. dollars, each year. Not all silk is produced by Bombyx mori. There are several species of Saturniidae that are also farmed for their silk, such as the Ailanthus moth (Samia cynthia group of species), the Chinese Oak Silkmoth (Antheraea pernyi), the Assam Silkmoth (Antheraea assamensis), and the Japanese Silk Moth (Antheraea yamamai). For other uses, see Farm (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Bombyx mori Linnaeus, 1758 For other senses of this word, see silkworm (disambiguation). ... Cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) pupa A pupa (Latin pupa for doll, pl: pupae or pupas) is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. ... USD redirects here. ... Subfamilies Arsenurinae Ceratocampinae Hemileucinae Agliinae Ludiinae Salassinae Saturniinae The Saturniidae, collectively known as saturniids, are among the largest and most spectacular of the lepidoptera, with an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 different species existing worldwide. ... Binomial name Samia cynthia (Drury, 1773) Ailanthus silkmoth adult female Ailanthus silkmoth adult male Ailanthus silkmoth diversity Category: ... Binomial name Antheraea pernyi (Guérin-Méneville, 1855) Antheraea pernyi is a large moth in the family Saturniidae. ...


The mopane worm, the caterpillar of Gonimbrasia belina, from the family Saturniidae, is a significant food resource in southern Africa. Binomial name Gonimbrasia belina (Linnaeus, 1758) Gonimbrasia belina is a species of moth found in much of southern Africa, whose large edible caterpillar, the mopani or mopane worm, is an important source of protein for millions of Southern Africans. ... Subfamilies Arsenurinae Ceratocampinae Hemileucinae Agliinae Ludiinae Salassinae Saturniinae The Saturniidae, collectively known as saturniids, are among the largest and most spectacular of the lepidoptera, with an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 different species existing worldwide. ...


Despite being framed for eating clothing, most moth adults do not eat at all. Most like the Luna, Polyphemus, Atlas, Prometheus, Cercropia, and other large moths don't have mouths. When they do eat, moths will drink nectar. Only one species of moth eat wool[citation needed]. The adults do not eat but the larvae will eat through wool clothing.


Attraction to light

Time exposure at floodlight showing moth flight paths
Time exposure at floodlight showing moth flight paths

Moths frequently appear to circle artificial lights. One hypothesis advanced to explain this behavior is that moths use a technique of celestial navigation called transverse orientation. By maintaining a constant angular relationship to a bright celestial light, such as the Moon, they can fly in a straight line. Celestial objects are so far away, that even after travelling great distances, the change in angle between the moth and the light source is negligible; further, the moon will always be in the upper part of the visual field or on the horizon. Human light sources have not existed long enough to affect the evolution of moth navigation systems. When a moth encounters a much closer artificial light and uses it for navigation, the angle changes noticeably after only a short distance, in addition to being often below the horizon. The moth instinctively attempts to correct by turning toward the light, causing airborne moths to come plummeting downwards, and - at close range - which results in a spiral flight path that gets closer and closer to the light source. [1] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 534 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1067 pixel, file size: 707 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Moths attracted by the floodlights set up at the Staging Grounds (Swifts Creek Recreation Reserve) during the 2007 Bushfire season. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 534 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1067 pixel, file size: 707 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Moths attracted by the floodlights set up at the Staging Grounds (Swifts Creek Recreation Reserve) during the 2007 Bushfire season. ... For the episode of The West Wing, see Celestial Navigation (The West Wing). ... This article is about Earths moon. ...

In 1972, Henry Hsiao, now a professor of biomedical engineering, suggested that the reason for moths circling lights may have to do with a visual distortion called a Mach band [2]. He says that they fly towards the darkest part of the sky in pursuit of safety and are thus inclined to circle ambient objects in the Mach band region. This hypothesis is not scientifically accepted and has never been confirmed.[citation needed] Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... The AbioCor artificial heart, an example of a biomedical engineering application of mechanical engineering with biocompatible materials for Cardiothoracic Surgery using an artificial organ. ... A Mach band is an optical illusion, named after Ernst Mach. ...


Hsaio says that the celestial navigation theory should cause moths to circle lights, not to head directly toward them, as many are seen to do. He conjectures that moths, which are nocturnal creatures, must find a place to hide from predators when daylight comes, but cannot do so in darkness. Their instinct when morning comes is to fly toward the light (presumably up) and then down again, with some probability landing on a surface which matches their camouflage.[1]


A theory which has been advanced in an attempt to explain the attraction male moths have for candles specifically is based on olfaction. There is evidence that olfaction might be, in some cases, mediated by detection of the infra-red spectra of substances [3]. The spiky infrared spectra of a candle flame happens to contain a number of emission lines which coincide with the vibrational frequencies of the female moth's pheromone [4]. The male moth is thereby powerfully attracted to the flame. Sources, eg. hurricane lamps, with different spike patterns are less powerful attractants.


Night-blooming flowers usually depend on moths (or bats) for pollination, and artificial lighting can draw moths away from the flowers, affecting the plant's ability to reproduce. A way to prevent this is to put a cloth or netting around the lamp. Another way is using a colored light bulb (preferably red). This will take the moth's attention away from the light while still providing light to see by. For other uses, see Flower (disambiguation). ... “Chiroptera” redirects here. ... Carpenter bee with pollen collected from Night-blooming cereus Pollination is an important step in the reproduction of seed plants: the transfer of pollen grains (containing the male gametes, sperm) to the plant carpel of flowering plants, the structure that contains the ovule (which in turn houses the female gamete... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ...


Predators of moths

Nocturnal insectivores often feed on moths, these include some bats, some species of owls, but also other species of birds. Moths are also eaten by some species of lizards, some cats and some rodents. For the flying mammal see bat. ... For other meanings of bird, see bird (disambiguation). ... This page is about Lizards, the order of reptile. ... Cats may refer to: Felines, members of the animal family Felidae The domesticated animal, cat The musical, yeah right, I bet that this was really dumb. ... Families Many, see text The order Rodentia is the most numerous of all the branches on the mammal family tree. ...


Notable moths

  • Atlas moth (Attacus atlas), the largest moth in the world
  • White Witch moth (Thysania agrippina), the Lepidopteran with the biggest wingspan
  • Madagascan Sunset moth (Chrysiridia rhipheus), considered to be one of the most impressive and beautiful Lepidoptera[5]
  • Death's-head hawkmoth (Acherontia spp.), is associations with the supernatural and evil and was featured in art and movies
  • Peppered moth (Biston betularia), the subject of a now well-known study in evolution.
  • Luna moth (Actias luna)
  • Emperor Gum moth (Opodiphthera eucalypti)
  • Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus)
  • Bogong moth (Agrotis infusa), south eastern Indigenous Australians were known to have feasted on the moths.

Moths of economic significance: Binomial name Attacus atlas (Linnaeus, 1758) The Atlas moth (Attacus atlas) is a large saturniid moth found in the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia, southern China, common across the Malay archipelago to Indonesia. ... Binomial name Thysania agrippina (Cramer, 1776) The White Witch moth (Thysania agrippina), also called the Birdwing Moth, Ghost moth, Great Grey Witch or Great Owlet Moth, is a large moth in the Noctuidae family. ... Binomial name (Hübner, 1823), (Cramer, 1782) (Drury, 1773, originally Papilio rhipheus) Contained in Madagascar Synonyms Urania rhipheus Urania ripheus Urania rhiphaeus[1] Chrysiridia riphearia Chrysiridia rhiphaeus[2] Chrysiridia madagascariensis[1] (Less. ... Species Acherontia atropos Acherontia styx Acherontia lachesis Variations in the Deaths head pattern The name Deaths-head Hawkmoth usually refers to one of the three species (, and ) of moth in the Acherontia genus. ... Binomial name Biston betularia Linnaeus, 1758 Subspecies The peppered moth (Biston betularia) is a temperate species of night-flying moth often used by educators as an example of natural selection. ... color = blue; color = blue color = blue color = blue color = blue color = blue color = blue color = blue; Binomial name Actias luna Linnaeus, 1758 The Luna Moth (Actias luna) is a large lime-green, Nearctic Saturniid moth in the subfamily Saturniinae. ... The Emperor Gum Moth (Opodiphthera eucalypti) is a species native to Australia, and can be easily found in all the states except for Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. ... Binomial name Antheraea polyphemus Cramer, 1776 The Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) is a member of the Saturniidae family, or giant silk moths. ... Binomial name Agrotis infusa (bogong moth) , Subspecies The Bogong moth (Agrotis infusa) is a temperate species of night-flying moth notable for appearing in major proportions around major public buildings in Canberra, the capital city of Australia, during spring (late September to November). ...

Binomial name Lymantria dispar Linnaeus, 1758 The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is a moth in the family Lymantriidae of Eurasian origin. ... Binomial name Helicoverpa zea (Boddie, 1850) The larva of the moth Helicoverpa zea (formerly in the genus Heliothis) is a major agricultural pest. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... This article is about the fruit. ... Species About 30 species; see text For other uses, see Pear (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Walnut (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Epiphyas postvittana Walker, 1863 The Light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana) is a leafroller moth belonging to the Lepidopteran family Tortricidae. ... Phagy or phagia is an ecological term that is used to identify particular nutritional systems. ... Binomial name Bombyx mori Linnaeus, 1758 For other senses of this word, see silkworm (disambiguation). ... For other uses of this word, see Silk (disambiguation). ...

See also

Although the separation of Lepidopterans into butterfly and moth categories is a well-known distinction, the difference between a butterfly and a moth is not actually a standard taxonomic division. ... This is a list of the species of Lepidoptera that are commonly known as moths. ... Subdivisions See Taxonomy of Lepidoptera and Lepidopteran diversity. ... Superfamilies and families Superfamily Hedyloidea: Hedylidae Superfamily Hesperioidea: Hesperiidae Superfamily Papilionoidea: Papilionidae Pieridae Nymphalidae Lycaenidae Riodinidae A butterfly is an insect of the order Lepidoptera. ... This Tree of Life article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

Gallery

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Lepidoptera

References

  1. ^ a b Why are Moths Attracted to Flame? (audio) All Things Considered, August 18, 2007.
  2. ^ Henry S. Hsiao, Attraction of moths to light and to infrared radiation. San Francisco Press (1972) ISBN 0-911302-21-2
  3. ^ Wright, R. H., The Sense of Smell. CRC Press, London (1982)
  4. ^ Callahan, P.S., Moth and candle, Applied Optics 12, 3089-3097
  5. ^ Tait, Malcolm (2006-08-28). "1", Animal Tragic: Popular Misconceptions of Wildlife Through the Centuries. Think Books, 38. ISBN 184525015X. Retrieved on 2008-02-19. 
2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... [[Media:Italic text]]{| style=float:right; |- | |- | |} is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Moth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (683 words)
Several moth species in the family Tineidae are commonly regarded as pests because their larvae eat fabric such as clothes and blankets made from natural proteinaceous fibers such as wool or silk.
It may be moths navigate by maintaining a constant angular relationship to a bright celestial light (such as the moon), but on encountering a bright artificial light it navigates by maintaining a constant angle to the light, resulting in the moth flying in a spiral until it hits the light source.
The silkworm Bombyx mori is the larva of a moth.
Status of the Gypsy Moth in Ohio (599 words)
Three Gypsy moth surveys conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture revealed a slight increase in population densities on State and private forested areas throughout Ohio in 2005.
Due to increasing gypsy moth populations in northeastern Ohio, the State and Federal Departments of Agriculture established a quarantine in 1987 to limit the spread of this destructive pest.
This highly virulent and host-specific fungal pathogen of gypsy moth larvae, is known as one of the most important causes of mortality in Japanese gypsy moth populations.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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