2021 July 27
It is nice to see that our local newspapers are taking an interest in butterflies. For the third time in a few days a newspaper – this time the Saanich News – has published a photograph of a butterfly. The caption described it as a “moth”. It is in fact a Cabbage White butterfly.
This brings up the question of just what is the difference between a butterfly and a moth. The answer is – in biological terms not very much. In the English language, we happen to call two groups of Families within the Order Lepidoptera “butterflies”. This distinction is not recognized in many other languages – papillon, mariposa, farfalla, Schmetterling all refer to either butterflies or moths. Nevertheless, anyone with even a small interest in natural history can usually instantly recognize a butterfly as a butterfly.
The animals below are both moths! The first is known either as a Vapourer Moth or a Rusty Tussock Moth. This one was reared on willow from a caterpillar found at Rithet’s Bog. It is a male – the female has no functional wings and does not fly.
Vapourer, or Rusty Tussock Orgyia antiqua (Lep.: Erebidae – Lymantriinae) Jeremy Tatum
Val George writes: This Sabulodes edwardsata moth was on the wall of my house in Oak Bay yesterday , July 26.
Sabulodes edwardsata (Lep.: Geometridae) Val George