No moths eat?

Extollager

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I could try to find what I want to know by rooting around in various sites, but I'll bet someone here can help me more quickly.

Is it correct that no species of moth eats?

Their mouths have "vestigial" apparatuses for eating?

Thanks.
 

.matthew.

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One google search later "With few exceptions, adult butterflies and moths eat only various liquids to maintain their water balance and energy stores. Most adults sip flower nectar, but other imbibe fluids from sap flowers on trees, rotting fruits, bird droppings, or animal dung."

So I guess they all get their nutrition in the larval stage.
 

Ursa major

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If an adult insect is ingesting something to "maintain [its] energy stores" it cannot, by definition, have obtained all its nutrition in its larval stage.
 

.matthew.

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Well I think it depends what that means by energy stores. It's like we as humans can survive a long time on glucose water and while we would die eventually it will keep us in better shape than water alone. I think it's the same sort of thing for moths where where they don't digest anything that would give them a longterm, instead just seeking out their lifely purpose before the end :)
 

Ursa major

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Well I think it depends what that means by energy stores.
Speaking as someone with Type 2 diabetes, many's the time I've tested how much glucose my blood has been carrying and how the level the device has recorded depended on, to alight upon an example at random, what I've been eating and how long before took the blood sample I ate it.
 

Foxbat

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I thought some types of moths ate keratin, which is also present in many forms of clothing...hence the destruction moths can cause to soft furnishings.
 

-K2-

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I thought some types of moths ate keratin, which is also present in many forms of clothing...hence the destruction moths can cause to soft furnishings.
I may be wrong, but I believe that it's not the moth that eats fabrics and so on but their larva/offspring.

K2
 

dannymcg

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I remember reading a crime thriller not too long ago, and the buried corpse was found because some kind of moth/butterfly that eats dead meat was congregating above the grave.
Drat, if only I could remember some details

Edit/update....a purple emperor
Quote from Wikipedia:-
"Unlike most butterflies, the purple emperor does not feed from flowers but instead on the honeydew secreted by aphids, sap oozing from oak trees, and on dung, urine and animal carcasses"
 
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Parson

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The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne?

This is a cracking good book. I would call it a mystery but Amazon calls it S.F. --- But they've been wrong before. It is heavily based on Science and there is fiction but it's all real science as far as I can tell.
 

Mouse

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Butterfly nerd here. Me and @Lobster also have a moth trap.

No, moths eat nectar like butterflies (different things for different species but on the whole, I guess, night-flying moths tend to like white plants). You can get day-flying moths too. The hummingbird hawk moth is often seen taking nectar from flowers.

Some moths have no mouth parts (atlas moths, for example), so those species don't eat. Some female moths have no wings.

edit: @dannymcg there are a few different butterfly species that like gross stinky things and can often be found on poop.
 

The Ace

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Lepidoptera (their Sunday name) usually lack jaws, making them unable to eat solid food (one group does have them, and eats pollen), but many have long, "Tongues," hollow tubes used to suck up liquids - these are coiled beneath the head until used, and when unfurled can be as long as the body. Most feed on nectar, fertilising flowers in the process (while not as prolific as bees, butterflies and moths are excellent pollinators - several species are actually dependent on one plant species for pollination, so without the moth, the plant would go extinct and vice versa).

There are a few adult moths which don't feed at all, but not many.

The larvae (caterpillars to you and me) are a different story. While most are herbivores (and the curse of gardeners, and anyone with an expensive wardrobe) the Common Blue caterpillar actually eats ant eggs and larvae (how it gets away with this is fascinating) and there's a caterpillar in Hawaii that sits still, imitating a twig, until an unfortunate fly gets too close, and becomes lunch.
 

Extollager

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Thanks, but it would have had to be the adult moth. This was for a story I wrote a couple of years ago. A friend gently corrected my mistake about moths, and I'd hoped possibly he was mistaken and there was some British moth that could to the job for me, but no.
 
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