Fun Magpie Moth Facts For Kids | Kidadl

FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS

Fun Magpie Moth Facts For Kids

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

One of the prettiest moths of the Geometridae family, the magpie moth (Abraxas grossulariata) is endemic to the Palearctic realm and North America. This species is best known for its distinctive speckled coloration. Also, the species has four subspecies.

The average length of magpie moths is around 0.7-1 in (18–25 mm), while the average wingspan is 1.96 in (50 mm). The splendidly patterned forewings are generally white in color while they also possess six transverse series of black stains. Several pale yellow basal cross bands through the central area of the wings can also be seen. The hindwings are duller and have a few dark spots. Caterpillars are usually pale green and have black spots and a rusty line down the sides. This species is conspicuously colored to ward off the predators. Also, this species has a butterfly-like appearance.

These moths can easily be spotted in several regions of England, Wales, and Scotland. They inhabit grassland, garden, towns, farmland, and parks. Magpie moths are mostly seen in the months of June and August and are attracted to light. Adults usually feed on the nectar of plants, while caterpillars eat blackthorns, hawthorns, currants, and gooseberry bushes.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has Not Evaluated the status of this species. Caterpillars and butterflies face threats from birds, large insects, and wild animals.

Let's read more fun facts about the magpie moth, and if you find this article interesting, don't forget to check out exciting facts about different animals like the puss moth and the American dagger moth.

Fun Magpie Moth Facts For Kids


What do they prey on?

Nectar, blackthorn, hawthorn, currant, and gooseberry bushes

What do they eat?

Herbivore

Average litter size?

20-100 eggs

How much do they weigh?

N/A

How long are they?

0.7-1 in (18–25 mm)

How tall are they?

N/A


What do they look like?

White, black, and yellow

Skin Type

Exoskeleton

What were their main threats?

Predators

What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them?

Grasslands, Parks, Farmland, Towns, Your Garden

Locations

England, Scotland, Wales

Kingdom

Animalia

Genus

Abraxas

Class

Insecta

Family

Geometridae

Magpie Moth Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a magpie moth?

The magpie moth (Abraxas grossulariata) is a small moth that is widely distributed to countries like England, Wales, and Scotland. The moth has a butterfly-like appearance and this species generally prefers food plants such as blackthorns, hawthorns, currants, gooseberry bushes. Magpie moths are mostly spotted in grasslands and gardens between June and August.

What class of animal does a magpie moth belong to?

The magpie moth (Abraxas grossulariata) belongs to the class of Insecta, the family of Geometridae, and the Abraxas genus. Both butterflies and moths belong to the Lepidoptera order.

How many magpie moths are there in the world?

The exact population of magpie moths is not known as of now, but these insects are found in different parts of the world and their numbers seem to be stable as of now.

Where does a magpie moth live?

These moths that look similar to butterflies are endemic to several countries of North America and the Palearctic realm. Also, these insects are widely distributed to numerous regions of England, Wales, and Scotland. A recent study revealed that the magpie moth is one of the most common species of moths found in England. You can often spot a magpie moth in your garden between June and August.

What is a magpie moth's habitat?

Magpie moths generally dwell in grasslands, farmlands, woodlands, parks, heathlands, moorlands, and gardens. Caterpillars are found feeding on shrubs. These insects are quite active from June to August because they are attracted to the light.

Who do magpie moths live with?

Like other species, the magpie moth is a solitary insect that spends its life alone. These moths are found in pairs only during the breeding season.

How long does a magpie moth live?

The exact lifespan of a magpie moth is not known, but moths, in general, live for around 11-13 months. The life expectancy rate generally depends on the type of species and the environment where the insect is dwelling.

How do they reproduce?

Very little is known about magpie moth mating patterns, but this species goes through a similar process. to other moths. The life cycle of the magpie moth includes four stages. These stages are eggs, caterpillars, pupa, and adult. The pupa stage is when moths undergo a complete metamorphosis. Also, they remain quite active from June to August.

Moths are known for releasing pheromones that are used to attract potential partners, and females generally possess glands on their bodies that release a chemical while males have antennas to locate potential mates.

After mating, females lay eggs singly or in batches. The average litter size of this species is around 20-100 eggs. They either stick them on plant tissues, objects, or drop them from the air while flying.

What is their conservation status?

Currently, no information regarding the conservation status of this species is available as organizations such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature have Not Evaluated the status of magpie moths. Like other moth species, magpie moths are facing threats like predation from birds, large insects, and wild animals as these creatures often prey on these small insects.

Magpie Moth Fun Facts

What do magpie moths look like?

The magpie moth is known for its distinctive speckled colorations. The forewings are generally white, but they also possess six transverse series of black spots and multiple pale yellow basal crossbands that can easily be spotted through the mid-area of the wings. The hindwings are paler in color and have a few dark patches. Young magpie moths are pale green and have black spots and a rusty line down the sides/ The insect is generally conspicuously colored to ward off the predators.

How cute are they?

Don't get them confused with beautiful butterflies. Like several wild animals, these magpie moths perform numerous displays to attract each other. Also, you can easily spot them in your garden by looking closely for their yellow stripes and multiple black spots.

How do they communicate?

Like other species, the magpie moth uses similar methods to communicate. The female magpie moth generally releases pheromones while males possess long antennas to catch the signals. These insects become very active from June to August and are attracted to light.

How big is a magpie moth?

This species is quite small and the average length of magpie moths is around 0.7-1 in (18–25 mm), while the average wingspan is 1.96 in (50 mm). The species is bigger than rosy maple moths and Io moths.

How fast can a magpie moth fly?

The exact speed of magpie moths is not known as of now. These nocturnal moths are quite active during the night hours.

How much does a magpie moth weigh?

The exact weight of a magpie moth is not known.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to male and female moths. People generally call them magpie moths.

What would you call a baby magpie moth?

No specific name is given to the babies of magpie moths, but terms such as larvae or caterpillars are used to refer to young magpie moths.

What do they eat?

Magpie moths are herbivores. Adults generally feed on the nectar of plants, while young magpie moths feed on food plants such as blackthorns, hawthorns, currants, gooseberry bushes in the garden. These insects are preyed upon by owls and hawks.

Are they poisonous?

No, magpie moths are not poisonous at all.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not known whether people keep magpie moths as pets or not. Also, it is always suggested that one should never tame wild moths from nature. You can always spot one of these moths in your garden.

Did you know...

Both butterflies and moths belong to the same Lepidoptera order but are not similar. The antennas of the former insect are cylindrical in shape, while the antennas of moths are either feathery or saw-edged. A butterfly is able to fold its wings vertically up over its back, while a moth tends to hold its wings in a tent-like fashion that also helps to hide the abdomen. Most moths are nocturnal and prefer to fly at night while butterflies are diurnal.

The Atlas moth is the biggest moth in the world and the average wingspan of the species is 10.6 in (27 cm).

Moths can't kill humans nor can they physically harm humans.

Are there any moths that are dangerous? 

The giant silk moth is considered to be the most dangerous moth in the world as the species possess a deadly venom.

How many eggs do magpie moths lay? 

The female magpie moth lays around 20-100 eggs.

 Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our spiny orb-weaver fun facts and marbled orb-weaver interesting facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable moth coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?