Moths

To most people, the word “pollinator” is synonymous with the word “bee,” but only a fraction of plants are pollinated by bees. In fact, many different insects and mammals are pollinators—bats, birds, beetles, and we can't forget our nocturnal friends, moths.


Conservation Scientist Krissa Skogen, Ph.D., tells us about the white-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineatawe).

Meet Some Native Moths

In the state of Illinois alone there are more than 1,850 known species of moths—more than ten times the diversity of butterflies. Some are beneficial pollinators, and some can be pests. Here are a few that we have found in and around the Chicago Botanic Garden:

hawkmoth

Hawkmoth
(Sphingidae)

Gypsy Moth

Lymantria dispar
Photo by: Jim Steffen

Cecropia Moth

Cecropia Moth
(Hyalophora cecropia)
Photo by: Marvin Smith, Wikimedia Commons

 
Friendly Visitors at Butterflies & Blooms

Butterflies & Blooms is the Garden's butterfly and moth exhibition, where visitors can immerse themselves in a habitat filled with hundreds of live species native to South America, Asia, North America, and Africa, as well as those native to Illinois. Here are a few of the moths visiting from faraway lands that have been spotted by visitors in our exhibition:

Atlas Moth

Atlas Moth
(Attacus atlas)

African Moon Moth

African Moon Moth
(Argema mimosae)

 

African Emperor Moth

African Emperor Moth
(Gonimbrasia zambesina)
Photo by: Judy Kohn

Rothschild Silkmoth

Rothschild Silkmoth
(Rothschildia lebeau)