Butterfly FAQ main content.

Butterfly FAQ

Part of the The Butterfly Conservatory exhibition.

Butterfly sits on a branch with wings fully spread which display a dramatic pattern.

1: What's the difference between a butterfly and a moth?

There are many differences. Adult butterflies are active in the day, while most—but not all—moths are active at night. When resting, a butterfly holds its wings together above its back; a moth holds its wings horizontally. And butterfly antennae are thickened, or clubbed, at the tips, while moth antennae are most commonly straight or feathered.

2: Do butterflies have any of our five senses?

To some extent, adult butterflies have all five senses. By far the most important sense for butterflies is smell—the sensors on their antennae are highly attuned to odors. Butterflies can also taste. They have "taste buds" at the end of the tongue, and females taste plants to identify them by using sensory structures on their feet.