The photo album contains a single gallery of modern, wing-folding insects (Neoptera) featuring moths placed in Lepidoptera part of the superorder Holometabola. I photographed the moth portraits in their natural habitats. See the Taxonomy note at the end of this page.



Moth Notes

Species from four moth superfamilies feature in the gallery.

Slug Moths (Zygaenoidea) distribution is mainly in the tropics but with a few species in Europe and North Africa. I photographed both featured day-flying moths in France.

Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths) features diurnal species that I photographed in the tropics and in France.

Geometroidea (Geometer Moths) are mostly nocturnal. The Atlas moth was flying during the day in Singapore.

Bombycoidea (Emperor, Hawkmoths, Silk moths) I photographed the diurnal hummingbird hawk moth in England.

Moths Photo Album Taxonomy

There are over 160,000 described moth species in the world and possibly 100,000 not yet described by science. In comparison, there are an estimated 17,000 to 19,000 described butterfly species. Moth fossil records date to the Triassic-Jurassic boundary, but the most recent common ancestor for all extant Lepidoptera dates to the late Carboniferous period.

The Insects Photo Album web page describes the higher-level taxonomy for Lepidoptera featured families (Butterflies and Moths).

There are over thirty superfamilies of moth, including four date to the late Cretaceous period and feature in the gallery:
(a) Zygaenoidea (Slug Moths) contain about 1000 species and feature photos of Zygaenidae, one of six families placed in the superfamily,
(b) Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths) is the largest moth superfamily with some 25,000 species, and the gallery displays images from Erebidae, one of six families,
(c) Geometroidea (Geometer Moths) has around 15,000 species, the gallery displays photos from Geometridae, one of four that belong to the superfamily,
(d) Bombycoidea (Emperor, Hawkmoths, Silk moths) contain 6,000 to 12000 species, and the gallery features images from Saturniidae and Sphingidae, two of three placed in the superfamily.