A few revelations about moths and butterflies

A few revelations about moths and butterflies

The development of the proboscis, a coiled straw-like mouthpart that can suck up nectar and other fluids, helped boost the diversity of butterflies and moths, such as this tiger longwing (Heliconius hecale). Credit: Eric Zamora/Florida Museum

A comprehensive evolutionary tree of Lepidoptera, the order that includes butterflies and moths, reveals that this assorted group of insects has been around for up to 300 million years – much longer than previously thought.

It also finds that moths had ultrasonic “ears” well before bats came into existence, challenging theories that they developed them to outsmart their flying mammal predators.


Published by Cosmos.

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