Saturday, July 27, 2013

Moth Week–Way better than Shark Week!

It’s National Moth Week!  It’s the perfect chance to learn more about those beautiful and fascinating creatures that flock to our porch lights at night.  Most of us are familiar with silk moths, creating the raw material for one of our favorite fabrics.  My son tried to raise silk moths in our house once, but somehow (I honestly have no idea how), the silkworms escaped their enclosure (despite a lid weighed down by a brick) and disappeared in my house (singing “Born Free”, I’m sure).  I usually see the best moths on the walls in the ladies’ room bathroom at night when we’re camping at a Virginia State Park – I’ve seen some real beauties!  But you can see moths in the most common places.  I saw this beautiful Luna Moth in the Safeway parking lot!  IMG_20130608_181751_483  Here are some fun facts about moths and butterflies:

  • Moths and butterflies are members of the the order Lepidoptera, loosely meaning “scaly wings”
  • Butterflies fly during the day; most moths fly at night.
  • A butterfly changes from caterpillar to adult in a chrysalis; a moth does the same in a cocoon. 
  • Butterflies and moths basically liquify as they change from caterpillar to adult (so cool!)
  • Butterfly antennae look like little clubs, while moths have various styles of antennae including the fringed type seen on the Luna moth (above)

If you’d like to learn more about moths and celebrate National Moth Week, check out this great interview on Science Friday

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