Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moths as Pollinators

Moths evolved to deal with flowers. Their long, tube-like tongues are just right for sipping nectar from long-necked blossoms. Nectar is practically the only food of adult moths, thus a strong partnership with flowers developed. We are familiar with butterflies pollinating flowers, but easily forget about moths. Actually, butterflies are a specialized type of moths, or, more properly they are all Lepidoptera.

Then, it is important to learn more about the role of moths in pollination. Here are a few articles that deal with this subject.

Yellow-collared scape moth on turtlehead
Black-and-yellow lichen moth, a little known pollinator
Crambid snout moths
Gardening for Honorary Butterflies: Mint Moths
Hummingbird Moths. Where do they go in Winter?
Inch worms: more little known pollinators
Little known moth pollinators: seed casebearers and flower moths
Metalmark moths. More little known pollinators
Noctuids, another family of little known pollinators
Plume Moths. More Little Known Pollinators
Pollinators, the Night Shift
Yellow-collared scape moth
The Yucca Moth and the Yucca
Zygaenidae, more little known pollinators
Geometrid caterpillar, or inchworm (Eupithecia) on sunflower

Other Articles on Moths and other Lepidoptera:

Bugs in the Garden. Hornworm: Friend or Foe? Friend and Foe
Caterpillars are for the Birds
Food for wildlife
Gardening for Honorary Butterflies (Mint Moths)
Pollinators in Winter: Fritillaries

Hummingbird moth on Monarda
Hummingbird Moth
Hawk Moths
Ailanthus Web-worm Moth
Yellow-collared Scape Moth
Carnivorous Lepidoptera. In
Projectile Frassing. In Flickr
Pollinators in second shift: moths. Dave's Garden
Pollination by Nocturnal Lepidoptera and Effects of Light Pollution: a Review

List of articles 

© Beatriz Moisset. 2012


  1. Dr. Moisset-Thank you for this list. I wanted to learn more about moths. Thanks to the book on bees, I was able to pay more attention in my yard to see what bees were out and what I thought were bees were not all bees, but some were flies after posting a photo to BugGuide, I was left with this Syrphidae A Helophilus...This opens up a whole new avenue for me to explore in my yard.. Michelle

  2. Ima fan of the clearwing moths, in fact... that entire family pleases me.
    I will even accommodate the manduca sexta.

    Your posted links seem to all go to your own articles. Do you ever link off-site to well written articles by your peers?

    1. Clearwing moths are beautiful and useful as pollinators. This is just an index of articles on moths published in this blog to make navigation a little easier since archives are not user friendly.