I wondered as I watched them flit from flower to flower in my herb garden.
I’d assumed they were moths, and I was wrong.
“Butterfly or moth? There are ways to tell them apart. Butterflies generally have long, smooth antennae that are rounded on the ends, while most moths have thick, feathery antennae. Moths also tend to have larger, fuzzier bodies than butterflies. Most moths fly at night, while most butterflies fly during the day. Because of when they’re active, butterflies tend to be more colorful than moths, but that’s not always the case.
You can see another difference when they’re resting: most moths flatten their wings out over their bodies, while most butterflies raise them up and against each other. And although both butterflies and moths develop in a chrysalis, most moths also spin a protective cocoon.”https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/butterfly-moth-and-skipper
It turns out these little flyers are called ‘skippers,’ of the group ‘Lepidoptera’ that includes all butterflies and moths. At one time they were considered to be a third category within the order but are now considered butterflies, of the distinct family Hesperiidae.
I suppose a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Still, a ‘moth’ doesn’t get the same respect as a ‘butterfly’ does, so I was happy this little skipper is a butterfly. Regardless, its a welcome pollinator in my garden.