Moth vs. Butterfly: The Key Differences

What follows is an  in-depth review of moth vs. butterfly. It will cover major differences like their frenulum, wings, body and pupa stages, and more.

Butterflies are active during the day when they can get heat from the sun because their body temperatures need to be around 85 degrees in order to fly.

Moths are nocturnal creatures, and also need heat, but produce it themselves by vibrating their wings.


Butterflies are ectotherms. They rely on heat from external sources. Moths prefer to rest during the day, usually in a wooded, dark habitat.


Butterflies pull nectar from flowers. Some species drink tree sap and fruit juices. Moths enjoy natural fibers in curtains, bed sheets, upholstery, and clothes, and have an appreciation for wool, silk, cotton, cashmere, and lint.

Flight Patterns

Butterflies have two wings on each side of their bodies. The infrastructure is such that the wings move independently. While Moth wings are scaled. Air trapped in the scales lifts them.

For the butterfly caterpillar, the main job is to eat and eat and eat to ensure the healthy growth of the caterpillar. While Moth larvae infest primary sources of food. They prefer undisturbed, dark areas where food is easily accessible.

Larvae Stage