There are around 160,000 different types of moths, and many of them have vibrant traits comparable to those of their near relative, the butterfly.
In the world of entomology, moths belong to the order Lepidoptera. The butterflies and skippers are the most well-known members of its extended family.
There are a wide variety of different types of moths, ranging from those that are small and concealed to those that are larger than the palm of a human’s hand.
Moths play an important role in the process of pollination all around the planet. They go to a wider variety of plant species than many species of bees and butterflies combined.
Moths are typically a key component in the pollination process for flowers that unfold their petals at night.
They are an essential factor in the preservation of plant species across the globe; thus, we must take those efforts into account.
Moths, on the other hand, are almost universally regarded as undesirable in agricultural settings. The larval stages of moths are responsible for significant crop damage, especially to vital crops like apples, corn, wheat, and sorghum.
The fact that some species of flying insects are beneficial to ecosystems while others are detrimental to agriculture should come as no surprise, given the size of the flying insects they belong to.
Across different civilizations, different types of moths are associated with a wide variety of contradictory meanings and symbols.
On a spiritual level, its natural attraction to fire or flame symbolizes the need to concentrate intently and go to considerable lengths to bring about favorable change or transformation.
Some communities view different types of moths as a representation of death, a connotation that was brought to widespread attention by the film The Silence of the Lambs.
Different Types of Moths
1. Plume Moth
First on our compilation of different types of moths is the plume moth (Pterophoridae). Because they feed on morning glories, another name for this moth species is the morning glory moth.
Their bodies and wings are green and long and narrow, giving them the appearance of skippers. When they spread their wings, they form a T-shape characterized by slender and curved legs.
2. Polyphemus Moth
The polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) is said to be one of the silk moths that is both the most beautiful and the largest.
Because of the big eye-like mark located in the middle of its hind wings, People gave it the name Polyphemus, the name of a cyclops who appeared in Greek mythology. It is a dark orange color with light brown and black dots sprinkled throughout.
3. Puss Moth
Its color patterns, which resemble those of cats, gave rise to the term “puss.” Female puss moths (Cerura vinula) are larger and have hues ranging from white to gray.
The males are smaller and have a light brown color. Just like other different types of moths, They seem to prefer feeding on willow and aspen trees in particular.
4. Regal Moth
The royal walnut moth (Citheronia regalis) is another name for this insect. The larva of this insect is known as the hickory horned devil due to its pale green body, scattered black spines, and five to six orange horns.
It has a retro look with stripes in a dark orange and gray-black color scheme.
5. Rosy Maple Moth
The rosy maple moth (Dryocampa rubicunda) in our compilation of different types of moths is a relatively little moth distinguished by the varying colors on its wings and wooly body.
It can also be a yellowish-cream color. However, the pink and yellow combination stands out the most about this color. It gets its name because it consumes nothing except maple leaves.
6. Saturniidae Moth
With about 2,300 different species, the Saturniidae family (saturniids) is arguable the most diverse and abundant of all moth families when discussing different types of moths.
Large species of moths, such as the giant silk moth, emperor moth, and royal moth, are all members of this family of moths.
7. Silkworm Moth
The silkworm moth (Bombyx mori) is most valuable during its larval phase when it painstakingly builds silk cocoons, from which it emerges as an adult moth.
This phase lasts throughout its entire life cycle. It is cultivated in China and the Middle East and is a vital component of the silk industry, including clothes and fabric production.
8. Small Emperor Moth
The small beautiful emperor moth (Saturnia pavonia) is easily recognizable by its pink-red forewings, black and orange hindwings, and black and white eyespots.
Like other different types of moths, They could not live more than a few days after laying their eggs in the prickly shrubs. Mating takes place during the daytime flights of the males.
9. Tussock Moth
They create harmful holes and silk cocoons on the leaves of plants, which might lead to a problem with the vegetation.
This is because they niche in communities. There are three different species of tussock moth (Lymantriinae) in Florida.
Its caterpillars have a peculiar appearance amongst different types of moths, yet are brilliantly colored and spiky.
10. Vampire Moth
The vampire moth (Calyptra thalictri) is a unique mention on our list of different types of moths. It gets its name from the fact that it feeds on the blood of vertebrates.
However, it is essential to highlight that only male vampire moths engage in this behavior. They are capable of sucking blood for up to half an hour, as evidenced by the development of red lesions.
However, it does not pose a threat to human life.
11. Venezuelan Poodle Moth
Researchers only discovered this one in 2009, yet it looks like something out of Pokemon.
It has the appearance of a huge moth that is hairy and heavier than usual, with wings that are more solid than usual and a body that is fluffy like a poodle; thus, many people were under the impression that it was not genuine.
12. Yucca Moth
These different types of moths (Tegeticula yuccasella) get their name from consuming only yucca plants in their diet. They are native to south-central America, the southern United States, and Canada.
These moths typically have a light complexion, either cream or light brown in color. They also occasionally have tanned patches on their bodies.
13. Luna Moth
It is also known as the American Moon moth (Actias luna) and has a white body and greenish-yellow wings. It is regarded as being among the largest moths that can be found anywhere in the continent of North America.
The largest length of its wingspan is 178 centimeters. It features long, curving tails that can be any of the following colors: green, black, yellow, red, or blue.
14. Milkweed Tussock Moth
This particular specie is one of the poisonous kinds on our list of different types of moths (Euchaetes egle).
This species of moth feeds almost exclusively on milkweeds, as the name suggests.
The fact that they are orange, brown, and black in hue also serves as a warning sign to potential prey animals that they are lethal.
Because the milkweed sap includes cardiac glycosides, they are potentially lethal, and their sting during the caterpillar stage is particularly dangerous.
15. Miller Moth
They are migratory moths (Acronicta leporina), which means they move from one place to another as the temperatures drop.
After reaching maturity, army cutworms transform into miller moths and have a short lifespan of only three weeks. Their wings are dusky, light brown, and have some dark brown linings.
16. Owl Moth
It is one of the Brahmin moth species (Brahmaea wallichii) that can grow to be quite massive. It got its name from the big eye-like area that it has on its wings.
While it is in flight mode, they look like an owl watching from above. They consume fruit trees, particularly fermenting fruits, as a food source.
17. Pandora Moth
The Pandora moth (Coloradia pandora) cannot be excluded when discussing different types of moths. The lodgepole and ponderosa pines provide the perfect food source for the caterpillars of the Pandora moth.
They have hairy bodies, and the color of their skin can range from black to light brown to dark brown all over their bodies.
18. Peppered Moth
They are also known as Darwin’s moths because of the hue of their wings and bodies, which resemble cookies and cream.
As they make their home in lichen-covered tree trunks, their coloration works to their advantage when it comes to hiding from potential predators. They have long, thin wings contrasting with their round, plump bodies.
19. Isabella Tiger Moth
It is also known as the wooly bear (Pyrrharctia isabella) and is native to the southern regions of the United States and Canada.
It is well-known for having multicolored larvae with black, brown, and red segments. Adult tiger moths are easily identifiable by their pale yellow bodies with scaly patterns, orange-yellow wings, and mottled forewings.
These different types of moths are known as generalist feeders because they consume practically every kind of plant there is.
20. Hawk Moth
There are at least 1,450 different types of moths that are indigenous to the Sphingidae family (Sphingidae, sphinx moth), and you can find them practically anywhere on the planet other than Antarctica.
They have hefty bodies and are one of the largest types of moths. Their long, thin wings also set them apart.
These moth species hold the longest tongue record, and it feeds at night on flowers with brightly colored petals.
21. Hercules Moth
The bleeding heart tree is the preferred food source for the caterpillars of this moth. It is one of the largest moths (Coscinocera Hercules) on our list of different types of moths.
These species are endemic to Queensland. It has a wing span that can reach up to 27 centimeters. They will weave cocoons made of silk in the branches of the trees that the caterpillar feeds on.
Male Hercules moths are thinner and have longer tails, while females are stockier and have shorter tails. When it reaches the stage of a moth, it will no longer consume food and will only have 14 days left to live.
22. Hummingbird Hawk-moth
Because it hovers like a hummingbird (Macroglossum stellatarum) over flowers while feeding with its lengthy proboscis, it got its name after that activity.
It has a wing span of only one and a half inches and a subtle, drab coloration all over its body. Because of the forceful pounding of its wings as it hovers above the blossoms in search of nectar, it is often even misidentified as a little hummingbird.
23. Imperial Moth
Imperial moths (Eacles imperialism) or Royal moths are also referred to as huge silk moths and are a member of the family of giant silk moths.
They have brown lines on their yellow wings and black markings on their bodies. The caterpillars of these moths have long, sharp spines on their backs that can sting.
They make their homes in large trees, such as oaks, pines, and maples, just like most different types of moths.
24. Indianmeal Moth
It got its name (Plodia interpunctella) from the fact that it is a nuisance in the United States that eats maize and Indian corn.
As a result, it is also known as the flour moth and the grain moth. It is distinctive for its reddish-brown forewings with tinges of bronze and dark gray, and it prefers to live in tropical climes.
It has wings that are 20 millimeters in span and a body that is 10 millimeters in length. You can find them in huge numbers across the state of Florida.
25. Death’s-head Hawkmoth
This one gained widespread recognition because of the film The Silence of the Lambs and derived its name (Acherontia atropos) from a mark on its bottom body resembling a skull’s shape.
Because it is associated with ill omens or as a symbol of death, its symbolic value is notable.
The name of its genus, Acherontia, comes from the river Acheron, known as the River of Pain. The primary color is dark brown, which includes white and light brown streaks.
26. Ethereal Moth
It is one of the most gorgeous moths you will ever come across, and true to its name, they appear so ethereal that you will be bewildered and ask if they are even real.
It is one of the most beautiful moths in this article on different types of moths.
They have see-through wings covered in granular, almost three-dimensional dots along their length. These moths also have heads that are incredibly fluffy and covered with fine hair. They have an unbelievable appearance and are also quite uncommon.
27. Five-spotted Hawk Moth
It is also known as the tomato hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata) because it has the potential to become a destructive pest in tomato crops and tobacco farms.
Its name comes from the exquisite patterning on its wings, which can be any of the following colors: gray, white, black, yellow, orange, or pale green. It is native to both the United States and Mexico.
28. Flannel Moth
The larvae of this insect (Megalopygidae) are frequently referred to as puss caterpillars because they have hairy bodies and a propensity to roll up, which gives them the appearance of enormous cotton balls.
On the other hand, their spines contain venom and have the potential to cause a painful sting that, if left untreated, could result in inflammation. They have the appearance of a bee with brighter colors than normal.
29. Giant Leopard Moth
These species (Hypercompe scribonia) thrive across south-central America, northern America, and southern Canada, and its wings are bright white with black spots and streaks all over them in an uneven pattern.
The underside of its belly is often a dark blue color with noticeable orange markings, and its legs are a midnight blue with white bands. It has a wing span of at least 76 mm and belongs to the family Eribidae.
30. Gypsy Moth
Another prevalent species (Lymantria dispar dispar) in our compilation of different types of moths is the gypsy moth.
It is one of those species of moths that includes several subspecies (Japanese, European, and Asian gypsy moths). The wing span of a female gypsy moth is greater than that of a male’s.
The European gypsy moth, in particular, is quite exceptional since it cannot fly. Female Japanese moths are extremely drawn to bright lights, whereas the male species of Asian gypsy moths are darker brown and larger than their female counterparts.
31. Hag Moth
It belongs to the family of moths (Phobetron pithecium) known as slug moths and is one of the species. The body of its larvae has tiny, short hairs of a dark brown color, and it has tentacle-like appendages protruding from its sides.
The mature hag moth will keep its unusually hairy appearance down to its legs. Their hair tufts, which are dark brown and black, give them their color, while their wings are transparent.
32. Atlas Moth
In terms of the total surface area of its wings, it is undoubtedly one of the largest species of moth (Attacus atlas) that can be found anywhere in the globe, and it lives in the woods of Asia.
Its wing span is at least 30 centimeters (at least 12 inches), and its surface area is at least 40 square centimeters.
Additionally, they feature one of the most easily recognizable multicolored wings, which are brownish-copper in color and have lines of pink, white, and purple on them.
In addition, they stand apart from other different types of moths since they are the only ones without mouths.
33. Black Witch Moth
It is the largest species (Ascalapha odorata) of noctuid in the United States. Its body looks like a bat, with enormous black wings lined with brown streaks and an eye-like structure in the forewings.
This gives it a distinctive appearance. These different types of moths are endemic to Brazil and the surrounding areas of south-central America.
34. Brown-tail Moth
In the United Kingdom, these moths (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) are a nuisance because of their communal behavior and preference to nest in groups on trees and bushes.
This name refers to them because of the brown and white hair tufts that encircle their abdominal region.
There is abundant documentation of outbreaks of brown-tail moths infesting orchards. The most severe event took place in the UK around the year 1720.
35. Cecropia Moth
It’s possible that its wings (Hyalophora cecropia) don’t have exceptionally bright colors, but it doesn’t make it any less beautiful. It has little antennae, patterns resembling eyes, and golden yellow wings.
Even though its wingspan is only 6 inches, being a member of the family of gigantic silk moths makes it economically valuable for the silk it generates, making it a notable mention on our list of different types of moths.
36. Cinnabar Moth
The cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae) is one of those vividly colored moths, with its crimson and black wings and forewings.
Because it feeds on the invasive ragwort, it is native to Europe and Central Asia but has since been brought to many other parts of the world.
Predators also stay away from them because their brilliant hue gives off the impression that they are poisonous.
37. Codling Moth
The codling moth (Cydia pomonella) belongs to the small percentage of different types of moths that are considered pests.
It is truly notorious for the damage it causes to crops, particularly fruits like apples and pears, which are its favorite foods to feast on.
This is because their larvae cannot feed on the leaves, which allows for early maturation. They do not get huge, reaching a maximum size of only 20 millimeters across their wings.
38. Comet Moth
This moth species (Argema mittrei) is native to the jungles of Madagascar and has a highly distinctive appearance. With a wing span of up to 20 centimeters, it is one of the world’s largest silk moth species.
It has dark orange circles, black linings, and a hint of green on its wings, and its body is bright yellow, brown, and tinged with green.
Because of its lengthy tails, which can be up to 15 centimeters in length, People gave it this name. They do not possess mouths, and their lifespan is relatively short.