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British Moth Species

British Moth Species

7th July 2015
(c) A-Z-Animals.com

Of all the flying insects found in the UK, butterflies are among the most spotted and photographed as most people are often delighted by the sight of these brightly coloured creatures fluttering amongst our plants and flowers in the garden. What about their less colourful and well-known cousins the moths though? Well, here are a few things you may not know about moths in the UK.

Traditional moth guides tended to concentrate solely on certain moth species that are known as macro-moths, with around 800 British species identified and documented. However, the true number of moth species found in the UK is actually much higher with over 2,400 species of moth having been recorded here.

Despite their very similar appearance there are actually big differences between moths and butterflies. Moths often have thick antennae which are straight and feathery in appearance and unlike butterflies, they are most active under the cover of night preferring to rest during the day in habitats such as woodland where their earthy-coloured wings easily camouflage them.

One of the easiest ways to identify the difference between moths and butterflies is that when butterflies stop flying, they tend to rest with their wings together but moths in rest have their wings flat in order to maximise on their camouflage. Like butterflies, moths feed primarily on the nectar from flowers which they do by using their long tongues (depending on the species, this can actually be longer than it's body).

If you are keen to look at moths then venturing into the garden after dusk can be very successful. By looking in moth identification books you will be well on your way to identifying the species you find, and it might also be a good idea to keep an eye out for caterpillars that can then be identified by books and online.

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British Moth Species Comments

MARY
"I NEVER KNEW THAT THERE ARE 2,400 SPECIES OF MOTHS."
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