It’s easy to confuse moths and butterflies. In fact, insects in general are often overlooked members of the animal kingdom, and few people make it a priority to identify them the way they would a mammal. Many different varieties of moths and butterflies live and alight in Bermuda, and this handy guide will help you narrow down what’s fluttering around your garden.
• rest with their wings closed
• are active during the day
• have clubbed antennae
• rest with their wings open
• are active at night
• do not have clubbed antennae
Most Bermudians know that we have eight kinds of butterfly here, with one, the Bermuda buckeye, being endemic. This springtime you can see these beautiful insects all over the island with their eye-shaped patterns. Caterpillars of the same species feast on plantain until they are large enough to make a chrysalis.
However, many Bermudians are not aware of our moth population; we have seven species in total. These elusive insects are rarely seen due to being nocturnal, but can grow to sizes more impressive than butterflies. Our largest species, the giant sphinx moth, can measure seven inches across.
Many types of moth may be spotted in your garden if have planted any kind of large white flower. In order to observe, spend some time outside at dusk watching any large flowers you may have – the Easter lily may be of particular interest at this time of year. Strangely, many adult moths do not eat at all, maturing without mouthparts, but various species in Bermuda will drink nectar.
For more information on moth and butterfly species, visit The Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.