Thousands of butterflies and moths exist around the world. Some of them migrate and can even be visible on their flight.
Several other butterflies and moths migrate without even being seen, typically at night.
Butterflies migrate for various reasons.
Food – many types of butterflies and moths migrate for food. The Madagascar Sunset moth is a species that only migrate for food as it only eats a single type of plant found in Madagascar.
Mating – some moths migrate to mate. They lay eggs at the destination or during their migratory process. Monarch butterflies are known for laying eggs during the migratory process.
To escape weather changes – Painted Lady butterflies and Armyworm moths in North America are known to migrate North whenever the weather gets too hot.
Butterflies and moths have different migrating habits. The distances they fly as well as the mechanisms they use to migrate are considerably different from one species to another.
Some species only migrate short distances of a few miles while others can migrate more than a few hundred miles.
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The flying behavior of moths and butterflies is diverse and even subject to changes within the same migration process.
This is a common situation for species such as Blue Tigers. Only males migrate in some species as females remain behind to either lay eggs or simply because they cannot cover the same distance as males.
Male and female migration
Most butterflies and moths see both male and female migration. Entire populations move together across large distances seeking food or looking to find warmer or cooler climates, depending on the area they’re coming from.
Lowland migration is common with many species. Moths and butterflies do not move upland and continue flying at a high pace on their own. These are species that aren’t dependent on winds as much to migrate.
High altitude migration
Migrating at high altitudes along mountain peaks is common for many moths and butterflies. High wind and air drafts allow certain species to migrate easier whenever they move at higher altitudes.
This means migratory species have to put in less effort to migrate.
Some species of butterflies and moths migrate at very high altitudes of 1-2 miles which makes them difficult to spot from the ground.
This type of migration is specific to most species. It only involves traveling across the continent and not on other continents.
Many species of moths and butterflies in Australia are known for traveling South or East without leaving the continent.
Transcontinental migration is specific to many species.
Butterflies and moths living in Europe are particularly known for moving towards North Africa or Central Africa in one of the longest migratory processes in the world.
This type of flight behavior entails only traveling at night. Bogong moths are a species known to only travel long distances at night.
This behavior can be defensive as the species doesn’t have to deal with as many potential predators as night.
Most migratory moths and butterflies move by day. This is easy for them as they use various types of landmarks for direction.
Mountains, rivers, and even roads can be used for navigation easily during the day.
There are a few general mechanisms used by moths and butterflies to move around during the day.
Landscapes are landmarks moths and butterflies use to navigate. They have certain spots or landmarks they need to fly by in their migration.
For example, Painted Lady butterflies living in Israel always go to Turkey via Cyprus.
The magnetic field of Earth
While many believe some moths and butterflies only use landscapes for guidance, it turns out some species rely on magnetic fields to migrate. This is the case with many types of nocturnal migrators.
Navigating according to the position of the Sun is highly common in butterflies. Multiple species are reliant on the Sun’s positioning to make it to the destination.
Butterflies and Moths That Migrate
The following species are the most common migratory butterflies and moths in the world.
Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are the most popular migratory species in North America.
Both the striking orange and black or yellow and black coloring and the long migration trails make this species very popular.
Monarch butterflies sometimes migrate from as far as Southern Canada to Mexico.
This migration only happens once in the life of these butterflies as they never return to Canada given they have short lifespans.
After overwintering in Mexico, these butterflies start their journey back, sometimes as early as February.
They lay eggs in Texas and other Southern states, particularly on milkweed.
The newly-emerged generation then continues the migration process towards Canada and Northern US completing the migratory process.
Eggs can also be laid on the way to Canada as Monarchs have a few broods per year.
2. Caper White
Caper White butterflies (Belenois java) are some of the most common migratory butterflies in the world. This species is found in Australia and Indonesia in high numbers.
Caper Whites in North Australia migrate to Southern Australia where they lay eggs.
The eggs turn to caterpillars in December.
Caper White butterflies aren’t pests as they rarely eat.
These butterflies and their caterpillars are found on plants such as Australia native caper, dog caper, bush orange, and currant bush.
The appearance of the male and female is similar as both have brown coloring with either white, cream, or yellow wings.
The larvae of Caper Whites have different coloring. It’s mostly green with bold brown and black stripes. Small yellow dots are also visible on the caterpillar in its adult stage.
3. Painted Lady Butterfly
Painted Lady Butterflies (Vanessa cardui) are some of the most widespread migratory butterflies in the world. The species travel long to very long distances flying cross-continent and often over large seas.
Painted Lady Butterflies are also found in the US. They fly from Southern California to Northern areas of the state and back, especially for food in desert areas.
However, the largest Painted Lady butterfly migration processes take place in Europe and Africa.
Painted Lady butterflies from England and other Northern European states migrate to Northern Africa and sometimes even further to Central Africa.
Extensive studies are focusing on these species and they reveal very long cross-generational migration from areas such as Iceland to the Sahara Desert.
Some of these butterflies even manage shorter migration processes within one generation.
A large population of Painted Lady butterflies also migrates over shorter distances from Israel to Turkey.
Some of the migratory processes of Painted Lady butterflies can even go unnoticed. In the fall, these butterflies may even migrate along mountains at high altitudes.
4. Dark Blue Tiger
The Dark Blue Tiger (Tirumala septentrionis) has black and blue coloring. This species is highly common in the Indian Subcontinents.
It’s here that the Dark Blue Tiger begins a migratory process in very large numbers. The populations of the Dark Blue Tiger make up more than half of all migratory species in India.
Migratory Dark Blue Tigers are spectacular when they fly as these are large butterflies. They can measure more than 100mm in wingspan.
There are many studies on the migratory process of Dark Blue Tigers and some of them note both males and females migrate together.
This is an important discovery as there was conflicting data on the migratory process of the female Dark Blue Tigers in the regions of the Himalayas and Myanmar.
5. Common Crow
Common Crows (Euploea core) are some of the most common migratory butterflies in the world. Some place them right behind Tiger butterflies for their migratory habits.
The species can migrate to Southern Australia and it lives in Northern Australia as well as other regions in the North, up to India.
Common crows are a large species with a wingspan of just over 90mm in the largest butterflies of the species.
This makes the Common crow a very slow-flying species.
Caterpillars of this genus are as popular as adults, mainly because they absorb toxins that make them taste bad.
These toxins of the caterpillar come from plant latex.
6. Double-branded Crow
This species (Euploea sylvester) is common in Australia and parts of Southeast Asia.
The migratory processes vary in this species according to food availability for its favorite foods. Bangalore in India is one of the highly populated areas of the world where the Double-branded Crow is frequently seen.
Butterflies of this genus are mostly brown.
The upper wings are dark brown and appear black. A gradient brown is specific to this species so that the hindwings are almost tan. The lower part of the wings also exhibits white spots.
It’s commonly found on dogbane, milkweed, and oleander.
7. Blue Tiger
Blue Tigers (Tirumala limniace) are common in Southeast Asia. These butterflies have blue and black or blue and brown coloring.
These butterflies are known for their extensive migratory habits.
Monsoons in India heavily influence the migratory process.
Only the males migrate, unlike in many other common migratory species.
Blue Tiger males are also shown to enable puddling behavior. They gather in droves across carrion or on mud paths where they find rich nutrients they can feed on.
These butterflies are known to be influenced by monsoons, but also by food, temperature, and even light.
The Blue Tiger is a species that’s more active during the day in direct sunlight as opposed to on cloudy days activity levels.
8. Golden Twin-spot Moth
The Golden Twin-spot Moth (Chrysodeixis chalcites) is one of the most common migratory moths.
It’s a species mostly known for its high impact on crops as it consumes a wide variety of legumes.
Corn and cauliflower in Europe are among the most affected crops by the Golden Twin-spot Moth.
This specie is also a pest to potatoes.
Its annual migration takes place to parts of Southern Europe or North Africa, across the Mediterranean.
Furthermore, this species might also be free from weather changes and still impact all types of crops.
Golden Twin-spot Moth caterpillars are a common sight in Northern Europe’s greenhouses.
Damages to fruits and vegetables are considered as the caterpillars of this species also eat raw fruit alongside the leaves and roots of various plants.
9. Cotton Bollworm
Cotton Bollworms (Helicoverpa armigera) are some of the most damaging migratory moths in Europe.
This species varies in its migratory processes between short and long migrations. Cotton Bollworms in England migrate to other Northern European countries.
A smaller number of Cotton Bollworm subspecies can even migrate to countries with widespread agricultural production such as Poland.
Cotton Bollworms primarily impact cotton production. They also impact soybean, Lucerne, rice, and other types of plants including their fruit, as in the case of tomatoes.
Maize fields are known to attract Cotton Bollworms in a migratory process.
Preventive measures against these migratory moths include crop rotation which prompts a longer migratory process for the moths to find new suitable food sources.
10. Bogong Moth
Bogong Moths (Agrotis infusa) are some of the most common migratory moths in Australia.
The species travel s hundreds of miles at a time, mainly towards the Australian Alps. The moths migrate up to 600 miles at times.
The species was once seen in metropolitan areas of Southwestern Australia due to high winds during its migratory period.
Bogong moths migrate at night.
It’s not yet clear how these moths make their way around at night. Some believe they use the guidance of the Moon while others believe Bogong Moths use the magnetic field of the Earth for direction.
Bogong moths living on smaller islands around Australia do not migrate.
Apart from a non-migratory lifestyle, these moths are also known to reproduce faster.
11. Red Admiral
The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) is one of the migratory butterflies with a widespread presence in North America, Europe, and Africa.
Red Admiral always travels North before their natural food sources start to run out.
These butterflies have a high preference for stinging nettle which they use for food.
Each generation of new Red Admirals first appears in the spring as they overwinter as eggs.
The migratory process takes place as soon as adults emerge and begin traveling North in groups.
These butterflies always migrate at higher altitudes where they don’t need to put in as much effort as they travel with high winds.
Climate change can be one of the major influencers in the lifestyle of these butterflies.
Warmer weather prompts these butterflies to stay longer in a place also taking longer to mate.
12. Diamondback Moth
Diamondback Moths (Plutella xylostella) live in North America, Europe, China, and other regions in Asia.
This species has first been seen in the US in the state of Illinois.
Diamondback moths have known pests of cruciferous crops. They consume cabbage, broccoli, and other vegetables of this genus.
They migrate short or long distances for food. These moths can travel distances of up to 1.000 miles for food.
The species is a considerable pest. Its caterpillars tend to be more problematic for crops than adults.
Another common reason Diamondback moths migrate is to avoid heavy rain which kills almost all caterpillars. They can clear out an area just before a rainy season or fall comes in.
13. Madagascan Sunset Moth
Madagascar Sunset Moths (Chrysiridia rhipheus) are a colorful species. These moths have black, green, yellow, orange, blue, and red coloring.
Madagascar Sunset moths live in the Western parts of the island moving East looking for food.
This species only eats Omphalea plants which means they are dependent on it for their survival.
This plant is non-toxic for a part of the year becoming toxic later in the year. It’s believed this is a defense mechanism of the plant against the caterpillars of the Madagascar Sunset moth.
Moths of this genus travel across the island to find this plant. Since this plant isn’t found in all areas of the island, these moths need to constantly move to find the non-toxic variants in Madagascar.
This moth species (Rhodometra sacraria) is found all across Europe and in parts of South America.
Its European populations are higher and also known for transcontinental migration. These species are known for their migration from Europe to North Africa.
Vestals move to North Africa to migrate. They might stop in Southern Europe if they begin migration late in the season.
Vestals only migrate at night and they use minimal light sources such as stars, the Moon, and reflection of light in the water to guide themselves to North Africa.
Once they lay eggs adults die. The Vestal caterpillar resembles a twig or a green stick in a mimicry habit.
These caterpillars feed on multiple plants. Knotgrass is their most common host plant. This is a type of buckwheat.
15. Australian Painted Lady
Australian Painted Lady butterflies (Vanessa kershawi) are common in Southern Australia. The species live South of the Tropic of Capricorn and move towards New Zealand in the summer.
Australian Painted Lady butterflies have been studied for decades. It turns out they don’t lay eggs once they arrive in New Zealand.
Some exceptions apply but these eggs cannot turn into adult caterpillars as all Australian Painted Lady caterpillars die before the second instar.
Australian Painted Lady butterflies can be seen across Southern Australia across various native plants.
They live as caterpillars on species such as capeweed. The species is also among the few in the world to grow as caterpillars on lavender.
The species is also seen on thistles.
Neither capeweed nor thistles are known to be negatively impacted by the species since they tend to lay eggs across a few other plants as well.
16. Clouded Yellow
Clouded Yellow butterflies (Colias croceus) are native to Northern Africa. They migrate to Europe in the summer as well as further in the East almost to Siberia.
Clouded Yellows are even seen in Northern Europe and they even reach The United Kingdom. It’s in the UK that the Clouded Yellow lays eggs, particularly in coastal areas.
This species has been seen in Northern parts of the UK even if Southern coastal regions are its normal limited year on year.
These butterflies feed on multiple types of flowers including Fabaceae, alfalfa, knapweed, and thistles.
Open areas are among the favorites of the species regardless of where they migrate towards.
17. True Armyworm Moth
True Armyworm Moths (Mythimna unipuncta) are a migratory species found in North America.
They migrate to escape the high summer heat in the South and to escape cold weather in the North in the winter.
True Armyworm moths migrate to regions such as British Colombia in the summer to come back in the winter.
The migratory process of the species tends to have a detrimental economic impact since True Armyworm caterpillars are known agricultural pests.
These caterpillars aren’t pests, to begin with as they feed on grasses. However, they can also feed on crops or move on to crops whenever there’s insufficient grass to eat.
18. Dark Sword-grass
Dark Sword-grass Moths (Agrotis ipsilon) are some of the most damaging pest moths that also migrate.
Common in Europe and North Africa, these types of moths have known pests on crops.
The problem with them is they are nocturnal. They hide during the day and only come out to crops for food at night.
Dark Sword-grass moths migrate to Europe from Africa to escape high summer temperatures.
These moths then move back to Africa to escape the cold winter months in temperate climate Europe.
Moths of this genus are a common sight across England.
Dark Sword-grass moths are also found in Canada and the US.
These moths have also been spotted in Australia.
It seems the Dark Sword-grass is yet to conquer most tropical areas.
19. Celery Looper
Celery Loopers (Anagrapha falcifera) are found all across North America.
This migratory species lives in vast territories across Canada and the US.
Celery Loopers are identified by a dark brown and light brown color combination and a wingspan of at least 35mm.
These moths can be considered pests in agriculture. They feed on beet but they also consume fruits such as blueberries.
The migration process impacts the crops these moths settle on. They can be crops in Southern Canada or as far South as Texas.
20. Hummingbird Hawk-moth
Hummingbird Hawk-moths (Macroglossum stellatarum) are some of the most common migratory species of moths in the world.
They live in high numbers in Europe. They are also native to North America, South America, and Central American countries.
Hummingbird Hawk-moths are common in Southern Europe in countries of the Mediterranean
They begin the migratory process in late spring when they move North to almost all countries including England.
Both male and female moths migrate and breed in their destination zone.
Feeding on bedstraw and wild madder, these moths are also abundant in Asia.
They migrate from the warm summer of Southern Asia towards cooler summers in the North.
Hummingbird Hawk-moths have also been found in Japan. These moths are diurnal and they also migrate during the day.
21. African death’s-head hawkmoth
African death’s head hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos) gets its name from its brown and yellow coloring. These moths have a mostly yellow underside.
The migratory status of this species makes it one of the most important months for long-distance migration in the world.
Considered native to Europe and Africa, this species has a very long flight pattern.
Its presence in Africa is cross-continental.
This means African death’s-head hawkmoths can sometimes migrate from Southern African territories to Northern Europe.
Sub-Saharan presence is wide for this species which is also present in smaller habitats across Northern Africa and Madagascar.
It makes its way to Northern Europe in countries such as the UK and Norway where it spends summers.
The species has a bad reputation when it comes to possible parasitic behavior. These moths feed and lay eggs on flowers.
Some parts of the world see this species as a minor pest threat in agriculture.
However, this moth is a threat to beehives as it enters them looking for honey.
Africa death’s-head hawkmoths are even known to produce sounds. Some believe these sounds mimic the sounds queen bees make to signal workers bees to stay still.
This might explain why this moth sometimes makes out of beehives unharmed.
22. Cabbage Moth
Cabbage Moths (Mamestra brassicae) have a short migratory flight pattern. These moths are mostly known for their negative impact on crops, particularly in their larval stage.
The name of the species implies these moths only feed on cabbages. But they feed on a wide range of legumes and even fruits.
You can find these moths in Europe, Asia, and North of The Sahara Desert in Africa.
The species has a migratory status but the migration is mostly over distances of up to 20-50 miles which makes the Cabbage moth rather sedentary compared to other moths that migrate.
Studies show that the female Cabbage moth migrates more than males, which is also rare among migratory species.
Females have to travel more to mate and to find suitable places to lay eggs.
These dark moths are mostly seen during the summer when they settle on crops in high numbers.
Females lay eggs on cabbage, broccoli, and other legumes. The emerging caterpillars feed on these legumes in their first instars to a large extent.
They might even kill legumes with their excessive feeding habits.
You can identify these moths as they start to lay eggs on crops by their brown, black, and tan mixed coloring.
The mating season is another good time to spot these moths. Females initiate mating and they produce sounds and release pheromones that attract males.
The male moth uses antennae to touch the female to confirm the potential initiator of the call and to confirm copulation.
23. Fall Armyworm
This brown and gray moth (Spodoptera frugiperda) is one of the most common migratory species in North America and elsewhere in the world.
Native to North America, the Fall Armyworm moth migrates over very long distances from southern parts of the country to Northern parts of the country.
Its migratory process is cross-generational given it has a short lifespan. A single generation can cover distances of up to 300 miles.
Most Fall Armyworms cover shorter distances in the years they cannot count on the help of high winds to travel.
Common across Florida and Texas, this moth has many reasons to migrate.
First, it can escape the high summer heat in the South. Secondly, it needs to migrate before some of its largest predators come into season. These predators include various types of birds.
Apart from being one of the moths that migrate over very long distances, the Fall Armyworm is also a feared pest in the US, China, and other countries around the world.
Its damages to crops cause economic losses.
24. African Armyworm
This species of migrating moth (Spodoptera exempta) is most common in Africa but it’s also seen in Asia and Australia.
African Armyworms are fierce pests that impact almost all cereal crops. They eat rice and wheat creating considerable crop damage in countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya.
The African Armyworm is common in many other states around The Sahara Desert.
This species migrates over very long distances to find suitable places to mate and lay eggs.
African Armyworms all emerge at once after eggs hatch creating large caterpillar outbreaks and vast crop damages.
The migration process of the species is also very specific.
These moths get high up on trees and await for morning to begin flying just above tree level.
They can fly up to a few hundred miles to find a suitable mating place.
Moth of this genus only travels by day using various landmarks as guidance. They stop to rest and hide in thick vegetation or on trees at night.
African Armyworms might also stop and rest for a few days if they encounter rain.
The survival of this species is also tied to its migratory profile. These moths only survived as they managed to escape predators in an area by migrating.
25. African migrant
The African migrant (Catopsilia florella) is a common migratory species in Africa. This butterfly is found in countries such as Nigeria.
Its migration takes it North or North East to Saudi Arabia and nearby countries.
The species is yellow or green, depending on the gender of the butterflies.
Males and females migrate together and rarely make the journey back as a new generation emerges on their journey.
These butterflies aren’t pests as they primarily feed on flowers, shrubs, and small trees. Senna flower family is among its favorites.
African migrants are also very good at extracting nutrients from the moist lands they encounter while migrating.
Their puddling habit often sees them feeding on moisture directly from mud.
26. Pearly underwing
Pearly underwing moths (Peridroma saucia) have brown-gray coloring which often makes identification difficult.
Furthermore, correctly identifying this species is also difficult as they arrive at the same time as other migrating moths.
These moths arrive in The British Isles somewhere in September and they remain here until October.
New generations arrive in Britain which means they don’t yet lay eggs here. They lay eggs in warmer climates in Southern Europe or Africa.
Pearly underwing flies long distances in short milestones. They often rest directly on tree bark where their brown and gray color makes them hard to spot for some of their natural predators.
27. Mourning cloak
The Mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) is a common species in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Most Morning cloaks live sedentary lifestyles while others migrate. Even groups that don’t migrate can migrate if they encounter issues such as a sudden rise in predatory populations or a drop in temperature.
Some data suggests the Mourning cloak is a butterfly that doesn’t migrate at all.
However, introduced individuals in Germany ended up a few countries South in Greece in an experiment to see if these butterflies migrate.
The temperate and rather cold weather in Germany prompted these butterflies to fly South and Eastwards.
The species has a spectacular contrasting color where dark brown or black wings are contrasted by bright yellow margins creating a unique visual effect when flying.
28. Large white
Large whites (Pieris brassicae) are native to Europe and many parts of Africa.
The species is believed to have been introduced in North America which may make it a serious pest on various crops across the country.
Large whites migrate very long distances. They can move over 600 miles over 2-3 generations.
No single Large white generation covers such long distances.
The species has even been identified in South Africa.
Its presence in Europe is seen in the summer or the fall. The species cannot survive or even hibernate through cold European winters.
It needs to head South either to hibernate or to continue being active.
These butterflies aren’t territorial and tend to live together. They can also invade cabbage crops together where they lay eggs.
You can identify the species by its white wings with contrasting black margins.
29. Julia butterfly
This orange-brown species (Dryas iulia) is native to Brazil, California, and other parts of the world.
It can migrate but it can also choose not to migrate whenever there aren’t any predators to worry about.
At best, Julia butterflies make it from California to Nebraska.
The species is known to use various mimicry tactics to resemble other species, even if it can also be toxic.
The adults of the species are known for their strange feeding habits which include puddling and drinking water out of the mud.
Even more, these butterflies can agitate the eyes of various amphibians and animals so that they start to tear and they then drink these tears.
This species doesn’t always need to migrate as it secretes toxins which makes predators move along.
These toxins are also known to cause reactions in humans. It’s best not to touch Julia butterflies as the species can cause skin irritation.
30. Jersey tiger
The Jersey tiger (Euplagia quadripunctaria) is a colorful type of moth with a large European presence.
Moths of this genus are active in parts of Europe such as countries around the Mediterranean. These moths then migrate North during the summer to escape the very high summer heat.
Jersey tigers only mate in Southern parts of the continent and then move back to the North.
You can identify this species by its contrasting black and white wings with a colorful red body.
The underside of its wings is mostly red.
This species is known for having an increasing habitat as the presence of the Jersey tiger has been noted in new areas, including The British Isles.
It’s here that the Jersey tiger is seen in vast areas such as fields and even urban parks.
31. Corn earworm
Corn earworms (Helicoverpa zea) are some of the most common types of migratory moths in North America. This species is known for its pest status in the US.
Corn earworms eat corn and the damages they make to crops account for billions each year.
The species is most common in the US and is the largest corn producer in the world.
These moths are commonly found in all areas of the country, even in the South. They then migrate North.
Corn earworms reach remote areas of Canada and they can even reach the outskirts of Alaska.
These moths cannot overwinter in the harsh winters in the North. This is why they head back to the South in the winter.
This species is known to travel hundreds of miles at a time.
Flight patterns are very different in Corn earworms compared to other species.
These moths only fly at high and very high altitudes sometimes not even be seen from the ground as they can fly at an altitude of at least 1 mile.
They use high wings at high altitudes which help them cover large distances in a shorter timeframe.
32. Common buckeye
Common buckeyes (Junonia coenia) are a species of butterfly in North America. This species originates in Africa and has expanded to North America and Asia.
The highest number of Common buckeye butterflies are seen in North America, where the species migrates to Southern habitats to escape cold winters in the North.
Common buckeye can be troublesome for some types of flowers, especially flowers with intact pollen and nectar.
These butterflies can tell if flowers have been visited by other species as they prefer not to stop on these flowers.
Common buckeyes have a preference for yellow flowers.
This species has a growing global presence with incipient populations reported across China.
33. Fiery Skipper
The Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) is native to both North America and South America. The migratory nature of the species is mostly influenced by its habitat.
Fiery Skippers in the US migrate from Southern states to Northern states and even to Canada in the summer.
Diminishing food resources and a competitive mating behavior make Fiery Skippers move North every year.
The species is a known pest of turfgrass. Its pest status is mostly observed in California and Hawaii.
Fiery Skippers are combated with strong chemicals such as insecticides.
34. Pink-spotted hawkmoth
The Pink-spotted hawkmoth (Agrius cingulata) is one of the species with a newly-established presence in Africa.
This species is native to Central America and the tropics.
It’s here that the Pink-spotted hawkmoth is seen the most.
It begins a very long migration either North towards the US or Southwards, towards Southern America. These moths can almost reach Argentina in their migratory process.
Early reports show the Pink-spotted hawkmoth is now also found in West Africa.
Nobody knows how the species ended up in Africa but some say it flew over The Atlantic Ocean coming from Brazil and other Eastern parts of South America.
The species is mostly gray, brown, and pink, as its name suggests. The pink color isn’t dominant but it’s seen on the lower body and the hindwings.
Pink-spotted hawkmoths are among the few pink-colored moths in the world.
35. Zebra longwing
Zebra longwings (Heliconius charithonia) are black and white butterflies that are native to Central America.
The species has alternating black and white stripes that inspire its zebra name.
Zebra longwings are among the few butterflies that feed both on pollen and nectar.
Eating both pollen and nectar doesn’t make this species live longer as it only survives around 3 months.
Zebra longwing also migrates over short distances. They move North to states such as Texas and Florida.
Zebra longwings are the official butterfly of Florida.
Not as migratory as other species, Zebra longwings move territories to avoid extreme temperatures but not bad weather since they continue migrating even when it rains.
Male Zebra longwing is sometimes seen in groups as these individuals rest together overnight. This reduces the risk of individual predation.
You can see Zebra longwings in moist areas such as marshes but also forests. Zebra longwings might also occasionally be seen in open areas.