Most people think of moths as pests, but they are actually very interesting creatures. There are over 160,000 different species of moths in the world, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some moths can be beautiful, while others can be quite ugly. Moths play a important role in the ecosystem, and they have been around for millions of years.
How Do Moths Eat?
Moths have very long proboscis, or tongues, which they use to suck nectar or other fluids. These proboscis are very tightly coiled not in use, like a hosepipe. When in use, the proboscis are uncoiled to their full length and in some species, that length is remarkably long.
The Hummingbird Moth has a tongue that is actually longer than its whole body. The Darwin’s Hawk moth of Madagascar has a proboscis nearly 13 inches long, evolved, no doubt, to enable feeding on deep throated orchids which grow in that region.
Not all Moths have long tongues. In some, the proboscis is very short, an adaptation which enables easy and effective piercing of fruit.
In some, there is no feeding mechanism at all. There are adults of some species that do not take in any food. Their brief lives as an adult are spent reproducing and they are able to acquire all of the energy needed for this from the fat stored in the body by the caterpillar.
The adult Luna moth, for instance, doesn’t even have a mouth. After it emerges from its cocoon, it lives for about a week.
Its sole mission in life? To mate and lay eggs.
What Do Moths Eat?
Adult moths also eat other things besides nectar. They will also eat rotting fruits and plant sap.
Most moths are nocturnal, which means they are active at night. During the day, they hide in dark places to avoid predators.
Moths are attracted to light, and this is how many people end up with moths in their homes. They are drawn to the light from lamps and candles, and they can sometimes get trapped inside houses.
Moth caterpillars need a lot more energy than adult moths in order to grow and in the wild they will eat plants and leaves. Moth caterpillars also will eat natural fibres in clothing.
Why do Moths eat clothes?
Moths can cause a lot of damage to clothes, and they are especially fond of wool. They will also eat other fabrics, such as cotton and silk.
Moths love to eat clothes because our wardrobes and drawers are a warm and dry place for moths to lay their eggs during the breeding season. A female moth can lay around 300 eggs and the larvae then eat the natural fibres of your clothing while they grow.
This can cause a lot of damage to your clothes, so it’s important to take precautions against moths.
There are a few things you can do to protect your clothes from moths, such as using mothballs or keeping your clothes in airtight containers. You should also vacuum your floors and furniture regularly to get rid of any moth eggs that might be hiding there.
List of Things a Moth Eats
- Flower nectar
- Rotting fruit
- Animal droppings
What animals eat moths?
Because of their abundance, moths are major players at the bottom of the food chain. Many different animals will eat moths, the biggest threat to moth pupae are wasps.
Adult moths are eaten by a wide variety of insectivores such as:
Some birds also eat moths, such as:
- House Sparrows
- American Goldfinches
- European Robins
What are the Differences Between Moths and Butterflies?
There are a few key differences between moths and butterflies. For one, moths are generally nocturnal while butterflies are diurnal. This means that moths are active at night while butterflies are active during the day.
They have similar body shapes and life cycles but there are a lot more differences in moths vs butterflies too.