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Moths Around Las Vegas
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas

Moths (Taxonomic Order: Lepidoptera; or commonly "lepidopterans") are insects with two pairs of membranous wings. Moths tend to be drably colored, fly at night, and have long, feathery antennae. Moths tend to rest with their wings folded over their body (like a pup-tent) or spread out flat against the substrate.

Adult moths may or may not feed, but they all fly, mate, and lay eggs. Many species are quite specific in their needs; they will only feed and lay eggs on certain species of plants. The eggs hatch into caterpillars, which range from big and green to small and hairy and everything in between. Caterpillars feed, grow, and then become dormant, forming in a silken cocoon or just hiding in the soil. While dormant, they (now a pupa) metamorphose into the adult form, then "hatch" into a fully formed adult ... and the cycle of life repeats.

While some species of lepidopterans are agricultural pests, most a harmless. Lepidopterans function in the desert ecosystem as important pollinators and important food sources for a variety of mammals (especially bats), birds (especially nighthawks and owls), and amphibians.

There are many species of moths around Las Vegas. I have no intention of listing them all; my intent is to present a few interesting species that caught my eye. Follow the links below to moths I can identify.

For More Information: See the Butterflies and Moths website.

Photo Family Family Common Name
Arctiidae, Gnophaela vermiculata Arctiidae Tiger Moths and Lichen Moths
Arctiidae Geometridae Geometrid Moths
Lymantria dispar (gypsy moth) Lymantriidae Tussock Moths
Micromoth Microlepidoptera (not a formal taxonomic group) Micro Moths
Noctuidae Noctuidae Owlet Moths, Miller Moths
No photo -- yet. Oecophoridae Oecophorid Moths
Notodontidae Notodontidae Prominents
Saturniidae Saturniidae Wild Silk Moths
Sphingidae Sphingidae Sphinx Moths, Hawkmoths
No photo -- yet. Thyatiridae Thyatirid Moths
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 101215

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