You need to be close.....
Butterflies and moths have many things in common, mainly scales that cover their bodies and wings. These scales are actually modified hairs. Butterflies and moths belong to the order Lepidoptera (from the Greek lepis meaning scale and pteron meaning wing)
On the left is a moth and not a butterfly. So how do i tell the difference?
Generally speaking you will see butterflies fly during the day and moths at night, but there are exceptions…..so here are some more ways you can tell:
1. A butterfly’s antennae have a long shaft and a bulb at the end. A moth’s antennae are feathery and jagged-edged, which you can clearly see on this picture.
2. Butterflies tend to fold their wings vertically up over their backs. Moths tend to hold their wings in a tent-like fashion that hides the abdomen.
3.Butterflies are typically larger and have more colorful patterns on their wings, like this lovely butterfly below. Moths are typically smaller with drab-colored wings.
and lastly and slightly more technical.... 4. Moths have a frenulum, which is a wing-coupling device. Butterflies do not have frenulums. Frenulums join the forewing to the hind wing, so the wings can work in unison during flight. As always there are exceptions to the rules above - such as the very large and beautiful Atlas moth - so keep reading the daily blog to find out more about our wonderful creatures in Hong Kong.