Montana Public Radio

moths

Bug Bytes: Sloth Moths

Jun 15, 2020
A three-toed sloth at Lake Gatun in the Republic of Panama.
Stefan Laube / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-toed_sloth#/media/File:Bradypus.jpg

It’s no secret that sloths move slowly. In fact, they move so slow, unique assemblages of insects can actually take advantage of their pace and align their lifecycle with these slow-moving hosts.

An interesting example is the relationship between the brown three-toed sloth and a moth aptly called the sloth moth.

Bug Bytes: Moths Vs. Butterflies

May 7, 2019
Assorted Moths (Lepidoptera) in the University of Texas Insect Collection
By Insects Unlocked - CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61293267

In this corner, weighing in with approximately 700 different species in the United States … the Butterflies. And in the opposite corner, weighing in with over 15,000 species in the United States … the Moths.

While butterflies get most of the attention, moths dominate the order Lepidoptera (comprised of moths and butterflies) with 90% of the known species. But when looking at an individual, how can you easily tell which is which?

'Field Notes:' All About Skippers

Aug 13, 2018
Golden-banded skipper.
Andrew Cannizzaro (CC-BY-2)

Out on a run on a spring day only a stone’s throw from the Flathead River on the watery outskirts of the town of Hungry Horse, I have stopped for a moment and listen to the river. With its rustling it seems to applaud my efforts. And as I go back and forth between stretching and sauntering, my glance roves over the landscape. A sudden fluttering at my feet catches my eye. Alerted to something, now not my legs but my curious eyes give chase and follow a meandering path through the air. Is it a leaf caught in the breeze? For a moment the leafiness lingers rocking back and forth, and I know it’s not a leaf, but a butterfly. Or is it?

Learn about the western sheepmoth, "one of the most beautiful moths we can find in Montana," on "Pea Green Boat."
Glenn Marangelo - Missoula Insectarium

Glenn Marangelo of the Missoula Insectarium will join Annie for a 'Pea Green Boat' all about moths of Montana, Wednesday, August 30 at 4 p.m.

They'll talk about the western sheepmoth (Hemileuca eglanterina), which Glenn calls" one of the most beautiful moths we can find in Montana," and the confusing petrophila moth (Petrophila confusalis),  "which is probably the most amazing little moth in terms of its lifecycle. A great example (as we'll see) of never saying 'never' in regard to the insect world," Marangelo says.