Humming-bird hawk moth Macroglossum stellatarum, visiting Vipers Bugloss, Pyreneese, France

Moths

Although not as showy as butterflies, moths are often just as beautiful and equally interesting. In Britain there are about 2,500 species, many of which have been recorded in gardens.

Moths and their caterpillars are crucial foods for birds, bats and other mammals, and adults are important pollinators of wild flowers and some trees. Like butterflies, moths have four different life stages. During their short lifetime they undergo a complete change, or metamorphosis. They begin life as an egg, hatch into a caterpillar, pupate, often within a silken cocoon, and emerge as adults.

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