The Anatomy of a Moth

Like other insects, an adult moth’s body has three segments – the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Each stage of a moth’s life has varying anatomical features.


Similar to adults, the body of the caterpillars consists of three segments. The head has a hard capsule and a set of mandibles. The thorax contains its true legs, while the abdomen has the spiracles for breathing, a group of prolegs in the middle, an anal plate, and a protrusion near the end.



This part of the moth consists of antennae, a set of compound eyes, and a proboscis for feeding.


The thorax contains the wings and three pairs of legs – one pair on each thoracic segment.


Moths have two sets of wings – the forewings and the hindwings. The wings are covered in scales and can be varied in shape. Occasionally, eyespots can be seen on the hindwing, which gives them the appearance of a larger animal, deterring predators.


The abdomen may be the largest segment of the moth’s body, however its only significance is the presence of the genitalia.