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Moth-er Day

Moth-er Day is not about mothers, but rather, is a day dedicated to moths and those who collect them. It's a day when people learn about moths, reflect on their importance, share their love for them, and connect with other moth enthusiasts.

Moths are from the order Lepidoptera, which also includes butterflies. Moths outnumber butterflies 9 to 1, and there are approximately 160,000 species of moths, 11,000 of which can be found in the United States. Moths differ from butterflies in several ways. Their antennae tend to be feathery and threadlike, compared to the butterfly's club-tipped antennae. They usually are stouter and duller in color than butterflies—although some have magnificent, eye-catching patterns. Moths are important pollinators, and unlike butterflies, most are nocturnal and usually fly to collect their nectar during the night. Although, there are some day-flying moths, such as the sunset moth.

Moths are important for the food chain, being food for birds and bats. They generally are plant eaters, although some eat wool, silk, fur, and feathers. Moths range in wingspan size from about 0.16 inch to a foot. The smallest moths are known as micromoths. One of the largest moths is the atlas moth, found in Southeast Asia, which has a wingspan that may exceed a foot. The cecropia moth is the largest moth native to North America. Giant silkworm moths are large moths with colorful wings, which sometimes have long tails on their hind wings. The tomato hornworm moth is known for eating tomato foliage as a caterpillar, and the hummingbird hawkmoth is one of several migrating moths. These and many other moths are celebrated today with Moth-er Day!

How to Observe Moth-er Day

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