Order : Lepidoptera ( Unranked )
Heterocera Distribution : Worldwide
Size : 6.5 – 300 mm ( ½ – 12 In )
Like butterflies , moths are also holometabolous insects with a full metamorphic life cycle. There are around 163,000 different species, all of which are in the order Lepidoptera.This is split into two suborders – the Macrolepidoptera (larger moths) and the Microlepidotera (small moths or micro-moths). There are lots of different superfamilies of micro –moths, and distinguishing between them at special level can be problematic. The larger moths, however, are generally much more easily identified. They are grouped into several different superfamilies including the Sesioidea, Cossoidea, Drepanoidea, Geometroidea, Noctuoidea, Sphingoidea and Uranioidea.
Although the common perception is that moths have a drab coloration, eat clothes and fly at night, many have brighltly-coloured wings with beautiful markings, very few actually do eat clothes and some fly during the day. Some moths are economically beneficial – these include the well-known silkworm, Bombyxmori, from which all natural silk is derived, as well as large numbers of species that act as plant pollinators.