What's the difference between
a butterfly and a moth?

What's the difference between moths and butterflies?

  • Moths have feathered (or saw-edged) antennae while butterfly antennae are straight but with a club-shaped tip.

  • Butterflies generally only fly during the day, while moths are generally nocturnal (although there are a few diurnal species).

  • Moths generally have their pairs of wings attached to each other so they move together in flight. Butterfly wings are separate.

  • Butterflies are usually larger than moths.

  • Butterfly wings are generally more patterened and brighter colours than moth wings which are usually quite dull colours.

  • There are around 2,500 species of moth in the UK and only around 60 species of butterfly.