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Butterfly-like moths

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Chapter Summary

It is not always easy to distinguish butterflies from moths. Generally speaking, moths are active at night when wing patterns cannot be seen, and they are more sombrely coloured than butterflies. There are, however, some brightly coloured day-flying moths which might be mistaken for butterflies, and to distinguish these some of the characteristic features of moths must be looked for resting usually with wings held horizontally and not folded vertically over the back, stouter bodies, smaller eyes and, especially, antennae which are thread-like or feathered without a well-defined terminal expansion or club. This chapter discusses a selection of Cayman moths which might be confused with butterflies. The most spectacular of Cayman's day-flying moths is undoubtedly Urania fulgens a very large moth with a wingspan of more than 80 mm. The moths discussed are: Ascalapha odorata, Composia fidelissima, Syntomeida epilais, Empyreuma affinis, Utetheisa ornatrix bella, Aellopos tantalus, and Ascalapha odorata.

Keywords: butterflies; Cayman'sday-flying moths



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