A Loepa oberthuri moth
© Robert Thompson/Minden Picture
Not quite. This colourful winged creature is a moth, a Loepa oberthuri, to be exact, a type of silkmoth. Unlike their showier cousins, butterflies, moths get a bad rap from time to time and it's true that caterpillars of some moth species are agricultural pests. But before you dig out the mothballs, consider this: Scientists estimate that there are some 160,000 species of moths worldwide, many just as stunning as our silkmoth today, and tracking their health often helps us to gauge the health of entire ecosystems. So, we encourage you to investigate moths in your own backyard. All you have to do: Turn on the porch light - and the moths will come calling.