What Is the Scientific Name for a Moth?

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Each species of moth has its own specific scientific name consisting of the genus and species to which the moth belongs. There are many genuses of moths and over 160,000 species. This is because moths are paraphyletic, meaning they belong to a group containing some descendants of a common ancestor.

The scientific name of the brown Forage Looper moth is Caenurgina erechtea. Unlike most moths, it is active both during the day and at night. The scientific name of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar moth is Malacosoma americanum. This species of moth is named for the behavior it displays when in the caterpillar stage; a number of caterpillars join together and build a tent-like structure in trees or shrubs that they return to each night for protection.