Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The difference between a butterfly and a moth? Could it be the Paunch?

The Virginia Master Naturalist symbol is the butterfly. I found these amazing images on Pinterest and thought they might brighten your day and New Year ahead!

Source: via Becky on Pinterest

Source: via Becky on Pinterest

Source: via Becky on Pinterest

Quiz time
Do you know the difference between a butterfly and a moth? 

From my 2011 VMN Basic Training I learned a few things about butterflies and moths (from my cryptic notes): 
  1. Butterflies typically have little knobs on the end of their antennae, where a moth has either a feathery antennae or plain. 
  2. Moths of course are more nighttime insects, flying at night, where butterflies feed during the day when the flowers are open.
  3. Most butterflies rest with their wings up off their bodies, where most moths have them down flat (but these photos are a bad example, of course photographers mostly take them when they flattened out to show their color and beauty). 
  4. Most moths have dulled colored wings where most butterflies are bright and cheerful. 
  5. Most butterflies have slender slim hairless bodies where moths have paunchy furry bodies. I would call them the wild and crazy guys of the insect world.
I also learned that the butterfly wing color (made of scales) can come off their wings (you may have discovered this too) and the less colors on the wing typically the older the butterfly, you know that old wear and tear thing. The scales cling to the wing and come off easily and this does not harm the butterfly, it is a protective move to keep them safe from predators.

If you are interested in becoming a Citizen Scientist Volunteer the next BRFAL Chapter Basic Training for Aspiring Virginia Master Naturalists is coming up in March 2012 at The Franklin Center in Downtown Rocky Mount VA! You can get the Draft Schedule of Classes and View the Itinerary here, and get the Information Letter and Application here.  If you have any questions about this upcoming basic training please send an email to: 

Learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist Program here. We hope to see you at the next training!

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