Instagram | @hannahrowell11

Rosy Maple Moths Are Giving Us Strong Strawberry-Banana Milkshake Vibes

Amy Pilkington 23 May 2020

When it comes to fluttering insects, moths tend to get the short end of the stick in our culture. While butterflies are getting appreciated for their beauty and inspiring many a generic tattoo, moths are mostly made fun of for their bad habit of frying themselves upon porch lights.

Yet, there isn't actually that big a difference between the two kinds of species. In fact, they are all part of the same scientific family of Lepidoptera.

It's only differences in habits and anatomy that really distinguish one from the other.

We tend to think of butterflies as pretty and moths as boring, but as a recent viral tweet by @reblavoie proves, there are plenty of pretty moths too.

The one she spotted on her deck was pink and cream, with incredible yellow fluff all over its body.

Many might just assume that it was a butterfly due to its strawberry-banana beauty, but she was right that it's a moth.

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A Rosy Maple Moth, to be exact.

Instagram | @juniper.nine

They live and breed on maple trees throughout the eastern United States, as well as parts of Southeastern Canada. A color variant in Missouri can be found that is all white with occasional pink markings.

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Though they are common, we don't see them often because they are nocturnal.

Instagram | @barbarjynks

That's one of the main behavioral differences between butterflies and moths. Butterflies are out during the day, showing off their bright colors in daylight, but moths are nocturnal. It's only when the days get long that we see them out and about when there's still some sunlight.

And since it's, you know, dark at night, all moths look dull and drab.

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Another quick way to tell the difference is how the wings sit when the insect is at rest.

Instagram | @steve_xliv

Butterfly wings tend to fold upward and close together like a book, but moth wings lay flat to their backs.

So as the long days of summer roll around, take a peak at some of the moths that might be showing themselves before sundown. You may be surprised at their beauty.

h/t: Butterflies and Moths of North America, How Stuff Works

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