Backyard Naturalist: Butterflies


How To Tell A Butterfly From A Moth:  Butterflies and moths are in the same order (Lepidoptera, which comes from the Greek words lepidos for scale and pteron for wings). Many people have trouble telling them apart, but once you know what to look for, it¹s easy to tell which is which.  Butterflies have skinny antennae with knobs or clubs on the ends. Many moths have feather-like antennae, or thread-like antennae without knobs.

When resting, butterflies close their wings high above their backs, but can¹t fold them. Moths fold their wings down on top of their backs at rest.  Butterflies usually have long slender bodies. Moths have fat, often fuzzy bodies. You won¹t see butterflies flying around at night or many moths active during the day. The third life stage (pupal stage) of a butterfly is a smooth chrysalis. A moth spends its pupal stage in a cocoon spun with silk.

 Butterfly Blog:  Check out Matt Orsie's butterfly blog for more information on butterflies!

The 2014 Mid-Atlantic review of butterflies is here.

           © 2016 Potomac Valley Audubon Society

              P.O. Box 578 • Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443
              phone // 304-676-3397

Yankauer Nature Preserve (Berkeley County)
Eidolon Nature Preserve (Morgan County)
Stauffer's Marsh (Berkeley County)
Cool Spring Nature Preserve (Jefferson County)

Kristin Alexander, Executive Director //   304-676-3397

Kimberly Baldwin, Program Director //

Katelyn "KC" Walters, Conservation and Land Manager // 304-283-7319

Krista Hawley, Adult Program Coordinator
// 703-303-1026

Amy Moore, Cool Spring Preserve Manager and Naturalist // 240-818-4714
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