Project Noah Fun Fact: Scales and meaning of Lepidoptera

For every day of National Moth Week, our partner, citizen science website Project Noah will be featuring a fun fact about moths.

From Project Noah:

Saturniid moth, (Hyperchiria sp.) spotted in Brazil by PN user EduardoFrick—a great example of scales aiding in camouflage!

The scientific order Lepidoptera consists of butterflies and moths. The name Lepidoptera has its origins in the Greek language, with “lepido” meaning scales and “ptera” meaning wings. So literally translated, Lepidoptera means scale-winged insects. If you have ever touched a moth and you have a powdery residue on your fingers, these are the scales on moths. The scales have a number of functions essential to the moth’s survival, such as camouflage, wing coupling, and chemical communication.

You can participate in the global citizen science project National Moth Week! National Moth Week 2015 is July 18-26. Visit the website for more information and be sure to register a public or private event! An event can be as simple as observing the moths that come to a porch. During NMW, be sure to post your photos to our website and add them to the National Moth Week mission, Moths of the World!

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