What is the difference of a butterfly and moth

Attacus atlas 7530 Moth Entomology

Butterflies and moths both belong to the order of insects called Lepidoptera.   It is difficult to draw a distinct dividing line between the two groups.   Many people refer to butterflies as being diurnal, active during the day, and moths being nocturnal, active at night.  There are many exceptions to this rule among both butterflies and moths.  One main difference between moths and butterflies that can be easily observed here at Reiman Gardens, based on the species we receive, is the shape of their antennae.  Butterfly antennae are filiform and have a clubbed or hooked, in the case of the Skippers, ends.  The antennae of the moth looks like a feather, with the male’s being more prominent than a female’s.  When a person is exploring in natural habitats these differences can be more difficult to distinguish.

View a poster on the differences of butterflies and moths click here