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Moths, Pacific Northwest

Tent Caterpillar Moths
Tent Caterpillar Moth, Photo By Bud Logan

Moths often have feather like antennae or an antenna with no club at the end. When perched, their wings lay flat. They usually have thick hairy bodies and more earthy colors. They are usually active at night and rest during the day in their preferred habitat.

Their caterpillars spin a silk cocoon before changing into a moth. Scientists have identified some 250,000 species of them world wide but suspect there may be that many again waiting to be discovered.

They are found all around the world and are closely related to the more colorful butterfly. However, they are a nocturnal animal and are more pastel colored so as to blend in to the darker surroundings of night.

As with their butterfly cousins, they are known to play a vital role in the pollination of plants as they flutter between them. Those plants that flower during the night rely solely on moths and bats to pollinate them. They are the second most important pollinator after the bees.

White Lined Spinx Moths
White Lined Spinx Moth, Photo By Bud Logan

Moths are herbivorous animals and survive on a plant based diet. Moths predominantly drink the nectar from the plants using their long straw like tongue and moths are also known to do a similar thing with sugary fruits and berries. The moth caterpillars, also still generally herbivores, eat a mixture of plants and leaves and some species will also eat insects.

The moth has natural predators throughout the world that include birds, bats, reptiles, amphibians, rodents and even other insects and larger spiders.

All around the world, both moths and their caterpillars are known to be a pest, particularly to farmers as the caterpillars can, in some years, eat through a farmers crops pretty fast.

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