The division of Lepidopterans into moths and butterflies is a popular taxonomy,
not a scientific one. Sometimes the names "Rhopalocera" (butterflies)
and "Heterocera" (moths) are used to formalize the popular distinction.
Many attempts have been made to subdivide the Lepidoptera into groups
such as the Microlepidoptera and Macrolepidoptera, Frenatae and Jugatae,
or Monotrysia and Ditrysia.
Failure of these names to persist in modern classifications is due to the fact
none of them represents a pair of "monophyletic groups".
The reality is that butterflies are a small group that arose from within the "moths,"
and there is thus no way to group all of the remaining taxa in a monophyletic group,
as it will always exclude that one descendant lineage.
Most species of moth are nocturnal (which means they are active at night),
They can be distinguished from butterflies in several ways.
People who study butterflies and/or moths are called lepidopterists;
the latter giving rise to the term "mother" for someone who takes part
in this activity—sometimes written with a hyphen inserted (moth-er)
to distinguish it from the word for a female parent.
This confusion does not arise in spoken English since the two terms are pronounced differently.Moth Traps
shows adult Indian Meal Moths mating.
It is a common grain-feeding pest found around the world.
Annoying household pests, they are often found feeding on cereals and dry grain products.
There is a trap that uses the technology of powerful and natural
sex attractants to lure certain moths to their doom.
The moth trap attracts and captures adult flour moths
(Indian meal moth, Mediterranean flour moth, almond moth and raisin moth)
by using the same chemical pheromone that female moths
use to attract male moths for mating!
Male moths are drawn by the scent and caught on the capture pad.
Removing male moths prevents mating and egg laying,
which in turn stops the cycle of the pest:
Build a Moth Trap yourself:Traps with MV bulbs attract the largest number of moths.
MV Bulb (125W) A mercury vapour bulb has a good catch rate but is extremely bright,
making it less suitable for built-up areas or situations where there will be people around.
This is a hot bulb which needs protection from rain. Requires 240V - mains or generator.
Actinic Tube (6, 8, 15W) An actinic tube has a lower catch rate due to the lower wattage,
but the relatively low visible light emission makes it good for garden or educational use.
A cold bulb doesn't require protection from light rain.
An actinic tube will run from the mains, a generator, or 12V battery.
(Specific trap models vary in their power requirements - make sure you buy one suitable for the intended power source.)
Powering a Moth Trap
Mains, generator or battery?
A mains-powered trap is suitable for use in gardens or other sites where mains
power is available. Use a portable generator for a mercury vapour trap in a remote site,
or for powering several traps simultaneously.
A rechargeable sealed lead acid-type battery is more portable and suitable
for a 12V Skinner or Heath trap in the field.
How many traps can I use?
One 125W trap such as the Robinson or MV Skinner uses 1.15A,
so a 1000W generator can run 3 or 4 traps simultaneously.
How long will the power last from a generator or battery?
This depends on the type of trap and how many traps you are powering at once.
Setting Up a Moth Trap