Outdoor Hour Challenge #23 Moths

This week we will continue our mini-focus on insects with a study of moths. The Handbook of Nature Study has several sections on moths that you can read whether you think you will find those particular kinds in your area or not. I found the information very easy to read and now I can apply the suggestions for observation with just about any kind of moth. We do have Isabella Tiger moths in our area so I will be especially on the lookout for those when we do our observations. We will be going camping soon so it will be a perfect time to watch the moths that come to the lantern.

“Not only are insects numerous when we regard individuals, but the number of species is far greater than that of all other animals taken together. The number of species in a single family is greater in several cases than the number of stars visible in a clear night.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 295

Outdoor Hour Challenge #23 
Focus on Insects-Moths

1. In this challenge we will continue our mini-focus on insects. Turn to the table of contents in the Handbook of Nature Study and skim down the list of moths discussed in the book. Read those sections in the Handbook of Nature Study on moths, pages 310 to 329. I personally don’t know much about moths so I am going to read through all the sections and see what I can learn. Here is some general information.

Wings not attached
Nocturnal (active at night)
Wings flat when resting
Feathered antennae
Fat abdomen
Form a cocoon

Wings hooked together in flight
Diurnal (active in the day)
Wings upright when resting
Straight, plain antennae
Thin Abdomen
Form a chrysalis

2. This challenge will need to be completed in the evenings. Turn on a light outside or take a flashlight outside. Moths are attracted to light so you should have some success if you are patient. Make sure to look on walls and plants near the light for moths.

Try this website for further techniques in attracting moths.
Attracting Moths


If you are unable to complete the challenge this week for moths, please feel free to take your outdoor time at a time that works for you family. Use your time to look for insects and to enjoy the summer air and sunshine.

3. After you have your outdoor time, provide an opportunity for working on a nature journal entry. This might be a good time to discuss the differences between butterflies and moths. If you didn’t see any moths, you can record in your nature journal any other kinds of insects that you found during your outdoor time.

4. If you observe more than one kind of moth this week, make sure to start a list of moths in your nature journal. I like to keep a running list in the back of my nature journal. If you observed some other kinds of insects during the week, record those too.


  1. We’ve been busy with our slugs and snake:
    So I put up an old (June 10th) post. This moth is a Polyphemus Moth. This one was found in our backyard. We have also found this type on the beach!

  2. We haven’t been keeping up with the insect studies. My kids are too little to stay up late enough to look for moths at night. So instead I linked to a quick study we did last week on bunnies.

  3. We finally did our moth study, although ours is nont the nocturnal variety.

  4. We are just starting to look at insects as we find them – this week was extra special as we finally had our butterflies hatch!! Beautiful Painted Ladies!

  5. I wasn’t sure where this study fit. Tomato hornworms are the larvae of 2 large moths: the Hawkmoth and the Sphinx moth and overwinter in the soil in the pupal stage.

    Please, feel free to put it wherever it belongs :D

  6. I hope it’s all right that I posted a second one here – the first study was ongoing and we’ve had some developments :)

  7. We’ve been seeing a lot of woolly bear caterpillars here this fall. Thought we’d learn a bit more about them. WOW! Lots of new information that we learned doing this study!!

  8. Hi Barb… I was looking at doing your insect challenges and when I went to download all of them the lulu site said that it was no longer available. Should I just download them one at a time instead??? Thanks so much for your time.
    Kind regards

  9. Hi Pauline,

    I just updated the link for you. I have had a hard time keeping all the links up to date….I will check the rest of the insect challenges and make sure those are updated to.



  10. Thank you so much for your time Barb! I really appreciate the updated link for printing out these challenges! And I am looking forward to starting a new year with a new topic!
    Kindest regards Pauline

Add Your Comment