sexes of moths find each other by the use of pheromones (scent hormones). This
is why the males often have pectinate (feathered) antennae. The larger surface
area of these antennae allows easier detection of the pheromones. Some species
can detect females from more than a kilometre away.
Unlike most moths, butterflies depend
mainly on sight to find each other, although scent is still used in their
Lepidoptera go through several stages
before they become an imago (adult). The eggs of some moths, such as the
swifts, are scattered in flight over the food plants, while others are placed
carefully on the leaves of a specific food plant, either singly, or in neat
The larvae or caterpillars of Lepidoptera
are mainly vegetarian, although some species such as the Orange-tip
Anthocharis cardamines, Dunbar Cosmia trapezina and some of the
wainscots are predatory, or even cannibalistic.
The intermediate stage between the larva
and imago is the pupa or chrysalis. Some species pass this stage within a
silken cocoon between leaves of the food plant, or buried in the leaf litter.
Others hang the chrysalis upright from the rear end, or in a silken harness.
Many species pass the winter as pupae, although others may go through as eggs,
larvae or adults.