Meet The 10 Cutest Moths In The World

Written by Heather Hall
Published: November 26, 2022
© Cathy Keifer/Shutterstock.com
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Most of us don’t get to enjoy the adorable features of moths because many of them are nocturnal. Some moths are even considered pests, especially when they are in their caterpillar stage, munching away on your prized vegetable garden. For some reason, moths are not as universally loved, and we aim to change that. After all, moths are equally important to the ecosystem as bees and butterflies. What is not to love about a furry moth, with its powdery coat and plump body? Butterflies flitting about the garden get all of the limelight, but we are here to say moths are super cute! We even go so far as to say that some moths are superior in beauty to some butterflies.

Nature is truly wonderful and has provided us with a planet overflowing with stunning creatures like the moths below. We hope you enjoy their beauty as much as we do. Let’s get started!

1. Cinnabar Moth

Cinnabar Moth, Animal, Animal Body Part, Animal Wildlife, Animal Wing
The bright colors of cinnabar moths are warning signs to predators.

©iStock.com/EstuaryPig

The cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae) has bright red markings on its wings. Its body is bright orange when it is in the larvae stage. They look cute, but their brilliant colorings are designed to warn predators to stay away. Cinnabar moths live in meadows all across Europe and love to eat ragwort. They are named after a mineral called cinnabar, which is also red. These cute moths fly around during the day, so you may be able to see one. 

2. Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth, Animal, Animal Body Part, Animal Eye, Animal Hair
The polyphemus moth has eyespots on its wings.

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This cute moth (Antheraea polyphemus) can be seen all around America. It is a large silky moth with many shades of red, gray, and brown, all mixed in a beautiful pattern. They have eyespots on their wings in shades of yellow, white, and black. Around the eyespots is purple shading that makes them stand out. Can you believe the polyphemus moth can eat up to 86,000 times its weight when it is in the caterpillar stage? Wow!

3. Tau Emperor

Animal, Animal Antenna, Animal Body Part, Animal Wildlife, Animal Wing
European beech is what the tau emperor likes to eat.

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The tau emperor (Aglia tau) moth lives in the forests of Eurasia. It is many shades of tan, brown, and white and has eye spots on its wings. Tau emperor’s favorite foods are beech and birch trees. They are bright green and plump when they are in the caterpillar stage. Interestingly, the males fly during the day, and the females fly at night. 

4. Giant Leopard Moth

Giant Leopard Moth
Giant leopard moths are nocturnal.

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The giant leopard moth is super cute and lives up to its name by being covered in leopard spots. Giant leopard moths (Hypercompe scribonia) are white with blueish-black spots. The spots are a unique mixture of solid and hollow spots, and their bodies are blue and orange. They can have wingspans of up to three inches! Giant leopard moths can be found in most of North America, but only if you look at night, as they are nocturnal. When they are a caterpillar, they are woolly with a dense fluff of black bristles and live on many kinds of trees and flowers.

5. Garden Tiger Moth

Garden Tiger Moth
You can find garden tiger moths in chilly climate.

©David Havel/Shutterstock.com

Garden tiger moths are so cute! Their front wings are white and brown tiger strips, and their back wings are orange and black polka dots. How cute is that? With a wingspan of 2.6 inches, garden tiger moths (Arctia caja) are pretty large. They live in North America and Europe, preferring chilly climates. They eat many different types of plants and are especially fond of foxglove. When in the caterpillar stage, they are covered in fuzzy brown, black, and white bristles and reach around 2.5 inches long. 

6. Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Hummingbird Hawk Moth
Hummingbird hawk moths feed on nectar-rich flowers.

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There are an amazing 1,450 species of hawk moths! The hummingbird hawk moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is named after the hummingbird because it has a very similar way of eating, with a long proboscis. They have brown front wings with wavy lines, bright orange rear wings, and a wingspan of 1.8 inches. They eat during the day and even make a cute humming noise like a hummingbird! You can find them in many parts of the world, feeding on nectar-rich flowers. 

7. Cecropia Moth 

Cecropia Moth
The Cecropia moth stands out because it is huge.

©David Havel/Shutterstock.com

This cute moth has a unique pattern of stripes and dots in white, black, red, and orange. They are gigantic for a moth, with a wingspan of up to seven inches! Cecropia moths (Hyalophora cecropia) live in mountainous regions of the US and Canada. They love to eat maple trees but can also be found munching away on birch or cherry trees. When they are in the caterpillar stage, they are bright yellow-green and turn blue-green as they age. They are big when they are in the caterpillar stage, too, coming in at a hefty 4.5 inches long. 

8. Madagascan Moon Moth

Madagascan Moon Moth
The Madagascar moon caterpillar has the unique ability to spin a silk cocoon.

©Martin Pelanek/Shutterstock.com

This cute moth lives in the rainforests of Madagascar. It is another big one with a wingspan of up to eight inches. Madagascan moon moths (Argema mittrei) are a bright yellow-green color, with orange and red markings and long feathery antennas. One adult can lay up to 150 eggs! They make cocoons out of silvery silk, and a lovely reddish-brown caterpillar emerges. 

9. Luna Moth 

Luna Moth, Christmas Lights, Night, Garden, Animal Wing
The luna moth has lime-green colored wings and a white body.

©iStock.com/LagunaticPhoto

Luna moths (Actias luna) deserve a spot on the world’s cutest moths list. They have lime-green wings with yellow tinges and eyespots in varying colors of blue, red, yellow, green, and white. Their rear wings have long flowing tails, which make them one of the cutest moths in the world. 

Luna moths live in North America and feed on many types of trees. They are bright green when they are caterpillars and nearly three inches long. As adults, they have a wingspan of 4.5 inches. 

10. Atlas Moth

 Atlas Moth
Atlas moths are exceptionally large.

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The atlas moth (Attacus atlas) deserves a place on the cutest moths list. They are truly gorgeous, with bright red wings covered in gorgeous patterns of white, black, and orange stripes and spots. The tips of their wings are meant to look like a snake’s head to scare off predators. You can find the atlas moth in forests in southeast Asia. They are exceptionally large, with a wingspan of up to 9.4 inches. When they are in the caterpillar stage, they are green and grow up to 4.5 inches in length. 

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The Featured Image

A cecropia moth is sitting on a huge maple leaf. The Cecropia moth is the largest and heaviest moth in North America.
The Cecropia moth is the largest and heaviest moth in North America.
© Cathy Keifer/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I am a freelance writer with 22 years of experience. I live in the Pacific Northwest and am surrounded by nature. When I go for my daily runs I often see herds of elk, deer, and bald eagles. I am owned by two dogs who take me on hikes in the mountains where we see coyotes, black bears, and wild turkeys.

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