Fun Fairy Moth Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 08, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fairy moth facts talk about the importance of flowers and the month of April in their lives.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

Previously grouped among the subfamily of Incurvariidae, the fairy moth of the order Lepidoptera presently belongs to the Monotrysian moth family of Adelidae. At least 295 species of the family have been identified. On the other hand, the Adela croesella and Adela reaumurella, that is, the green longhorn, form the two subfamilies of the Adelidae family. Similar to the butterfly, moths undergo several stages of metamorphosis until they turn into adults. The first stage of their development is the embryonic stage when females lay eggs on plants. The second stage is the larval stage (when the larva emerges from the hatched eggs), followed by the pupal stage (i.e. the formation of a cocoon), and lastly, the stage when they transform completely into mature ones.

Most moths are known to hide and doze in the daytime and engage in activities during the night. However, since the fairy moth is diurnal, this process is reversed.

Continue reading for some more mesmerizing facts about the fairy moth. Also, don't forget to peek into some more engaging facts about the five-spotted hawk moth and ghost moth.

Fairy Moth Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a fairy moth?

A fairy moth is a species of insect belonging to the order Lepidoptera.

What class of animal does a fairy moth belong to?

A fairy moth belongs to the class Insecta.

How many fairy moths are there in the world?

Researchers have been able to identify about 160,000 moth species from around the world, but the accurate details about the number of fairy moths in their current existence cannot be ascertained due to the lack of records.

Where does a fairy moth live?

These insects are widely prevalent in entire Europe and North America from April to June. They can sometimes be located in Africa.

What is a fairy moth's habitat?

This species can be found primarily in habitats ranging between forests, grasslands, and woodlands.

Who do fairy moths live with?

It is unknown whether the fairy moth lives on its own or forms clusters.

How long does a fairy moth live?

The longevity of any moth depends upon certain significant factors like the presence of predators, environmental changes, and their habitat. A moth can survive for some weeks, while it can also last for almost 11 months to a year, depending on the prevailing circumstances.

How do they reproduce?

Males use their antennae to trace receptive females. Pheromones play a significant part in the reproduction process. Once the male locates the female by tracing her scent, the breeding process initiates. After copulation, females can lay eggs on a leaf or drop the eggs in flight. A female can lay an average of 40 to 50 eggs within two weeks which, for some species, amounts to approximately 200 to 300 eggs in a single life span. Generally, females perish shortly after laying the eggs. The eggs gradually change into adults after following the four stages of development.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the fairy moth is Not Evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Fairy Moth Fun Facts

What do fairy moths look like?

A fairy moth possesses a shimmery metallic appearance. The insect must not be confused with butterflies as both are distinctly different. Butterflies fold their wings vertically, while the wings of a fairy moth close horizontally. This species possesses a very long antenna that is almost three times the size of the males' fore-wings. Males possess longer antennae than females.

A Fairy Moth on a leaf.

How cute are they?

As it is commonly said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, the concept of cuteness or beauty largely depends on perception. A moth might not be as colorful or graceful as a butterfly, but it is unique in its way. Although the larvae might not be appealing to the eyes, fairy moths are nothing short of elegant.

How do they communicate?

This species interacts with the help of scents. The highly developed antennae aid the communication process by detecting pheromones.

How big is a fairy moth?

These moths are not as big as Luna moths. They have a wingspan ranging from 0.4-0.5 in (11 to 14 mm).

How fast can fairy moths fly?

Fairy moths are capable of achieving great flight speed owing to their strong wings. However, the exact speed limit of these insects is yet unknown.

How much does a fairy moth weigh?

A moth belonging to the Adela subfamily is a tiny insect with negligible weight. Therefore, its accurate weight cannot be mentioned with certainty.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both genders of the species have no special attributions and are commonly regarded as male and female fairy moths, respectively.

What would you call a baby fairy moth?

A baby fairy moth or a young butterfly post-hatching is referred to as a larva or caterpillar.

What do they eat?

Unlike some of the other species of moths, these insects are herbivores whereas the grownups feed on mainly sap or nectar from flowers while the larvae feed on green leaves, deciduous shrubs, or flowering plants such as sea buckthorn.

Are they dangerous?

Moths are known to be harmless insects but their cocoons or feces can cause irritation or inflammation, especially when they come into contact with food, clothes, or other accessories of regular use. Fairy moths do not have the potential to cause harm apart from some probable allergic reactions in humans. Nevertheless, some moths are known to be dangerous because of their toxic venom.

Would they make a good pet?

Unlike several species of moths and butterflies, fairy moths are usually not reared as pets. Therefore, the prospects of the insect becoming a good pet currently remain a mystery.

Did you know...

The moth shares some physiological resemblances with humans. Did you know that a moth has a brain? Not only do they have a brain, but also a heart, stomach, and mouth! Their circulatory and nervous systems work similarly too!

Did you know that the oleander hawk is the rarest moth? It possesses a unique and mesmerizing appearance!

Caterpillars feed on their eggshells after hatching.

In 1851, Charles Théophile Bruand d'Uzelle researched extensively on the Adelidae family and detailed them.

The adults take flights from April to May and move to the eastern parts of the USA, North America, Minnesota, and North Carolina.

How did the fairy moth get its name?

The term 'moth' has its roots in the Old English' moððe' and Germanic' motte', both implying 'maggot', which was a term used to signify larva, mostly about gobbling up clothes. The word fairy perhaps indicates the fairy-like appearance of the insects. On the other hand, 'Adela' in Greek implies 'hidden'. These insects are adept at hiding themselves.

The species also goes by the name of fairy longhorn moth.

How does a fairy moth compare with other moths?

The giant silkworm moth (Lonomia obliqua) is considered to be the most dangerous moth in the entire world! An interesting fact is that it's not the adult but the caterpillar that spews venom, and surprisingly, the intent is not to harm but defend. The venom is extremely poisonous and can even lead to death. The poison has taken quite a few lives in southern Brazil. Venom is currently a subject matter of research as it posits a great threat to life. In comparison, the fairy moth has negligible harming potentiality.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including the American dagger moth, or puss moth.

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

Fairy Moth Facts

What Did They Prey On?

N/A

What Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

200-300 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

N/A

What habitat Do they Live In?

forests, grasslands, and woodlands

Where Do They Live?

north america, eurasia, and africa

How Long Were They?

Wingspan: 0.4-0.5 in (11-14 mm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Insecta

Genus

Adela

Family

Adelidae

Scientific Name

Depends on species

What Do They Look Like?

Metallic

Skin Type

Hairy

What Are Their Main Threats?

birds, lizards, rodents, amphibians, and human activities

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Evaluated
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Sources

en.wikipedia.orgen.wikipedia.orgbugguide.net

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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