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This week we are excited to observe National Moth Week, which runs from July 20- 28, 2013. The website has links to many local events, so see what is happening in your area.

Why moths? Moths are often ignored in favor of their more-brightly colored and day-flying relatives, the butterflies, yet they are more numerous and ecologically diverse. Many are just a beautiful as butterflies, they are simply harder to spot. According to the news release:

National Moth Week literally shines a much-needed spotlight on moths and their ecological importance as well as their biodiversity. The event allows people of all ages to become “citizen scientists” and contribute scientific data about moths they observe in their own communities. Participating in National Moth Week can be as simple as turning on a porch light at night and watching what happens, or going outside in daylight to find caterpillars and diurnal moths, often mistaken for butterflies.

How do you tell a butterfly from a moth?  Sometimes they look alike and children (and some adults) may not have a clear understanding of what separates the two. Here are two picture books for the youngest reader that will help:


What's the Difference Between a Butterfly and a Moth? (What's the Difference? (Capstone)) by Robin Michal Koontz and illustrated by Bandelin-Dacey (2009) is a beautifully-illustrated picture book that answers the question clearly for children in grades K-3. (Google books has a preview). It also would be useful for units on life cycles.


Butterfly or Moth?: How Do You Know? (Which Animal Is Which?) by Melissa Stewart (2011) uses color photographs to explores the same question. (Google books also has a preview). For example, by asking, "Knobs or no knobs?" Stewart points out that butterflies often have knobs on the tips of their antennae, whereas moths often have feathery antennae.


A great way to celebrate National Moth Week is to pick up a book and learn more about them. See a whole list of children's books about butterflies and moths at Science Books for Kids, including some for older children. The list has been updated and expanded from last year.

Finally, if you know a child who is interested in moths, check the free moth coloring book to print out.

How are you observing National Moth Week? If you would like to, please let us know how you are participating.


Note: Linked titles go to Amazon for further information and reviews. Just so you know, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.


In honor of National Moth Week and STEM Friday, let's take a look at some exciting children's books about moths and butterflies.

Edit:  I'm afraid this list had to be moved when I changed the theme of the blog, because the new theme does not support the form I used to create it. I moved the list to Science Books for Kids. You can find it by clicking on the image or link below. Sorry for any inconvenience.


List of children's books about moths and butterflies at Science Books for Kids.



We are thrilled to announce that this week, July 23 - 29, 2012, has been designated the first ever National Moth Week.

Moths don't often get a lot of good press. Perhaps because they are active at night and hide during the day, there's a perception that moths are small, drab, and not as interesting as butterflies. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nothing small or drab about this atlas moth!

How about this white-lined sphinx moth?

Caterpillars are always favorite with children, too.

How do you find moths? The National Moth Week has suggestions for finding moths, including looking around outside lights at night.

Also, you might want to check the website for locations many kid-friendly science events being held around the world.

Edit:  And don't miss this cool moth coloring book to print out

In celebration of National Moth Week, I've created a category with all our posts that are about moths, including this recent moth life cycle post. I'm also going to devote this week to moths. Tomorrow I'll talk about how to plant a moth-friendly garden instead of Seed of the Week, which will return next week.

I would love to hear how you and your family decide to celebrate National Moth Week.