There is often confusion as to what makes a specimen a butterfly or a moth. In truth the defining criteria is a little nebulous with no singular defining factor available. There are many pointers though that can indicate which is which and the list below hopefully will help clarify the distinguishing features.

* Butterflies are diurnal but most moths are nocturnal

* The antennae of butterflies are clubbed or thickened towards the end whereas most moths have simple or feathery antennae

* Butterfly pupa is formed in an exposed situation whereas many moths form a cocoon

* Many moths have stout hairy bodies but butterflies are more slender

* Butterflies have feeding moth parts but some moths lack these altogether

* Lots of moths are dull coloured but most butterflies have brightly coloured wings

* Butterflies tend to hold their wings together when at rest whereas many moths hold their wings in a roof-like pose

* Generally moths have larger scales on their wings than butterflies so as to retain warmth. The smaller scales on the butterfly's wings help with heat absorption.

* Most moths have a barbed bristle on the hindwing (frenulum) that engages with a hook on the forewing (jugum) joining both wings in flight. Most butterflies lack these structures.

* Many moths have fully developed forelegs whilst some butterflies have reduced forelegs

REMEMBER - none of the above are holistically defining characteristics as there are always exceptions to each rule.