WILDWOOD, Mo.—Moths; you might think of them as the “other” butterflies. Both are members of the order, Lepidoptera. But moths are the ones that do most of their work under cover of night, making them especially fascinating.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will shed light on these “butterflies of the night” during a special event: Moth Night, Saturday, July 20, from 7-10 p.m. at Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood. Visitors will experience the wonderful world of Missouri’s moths in unique and interactive ways. The free nighttime celebration will be themed like a nocturnal nature party.
Missouri is home to many moth species, of a wide range of sizes and shapes, sporting intriguing names such as beautiful wood-nymph, darling underwing, Luna, five-spotted hawk and white-lined sphinx. Each plays a vital role in pollinating plants and being food for other animals like bats.
Visitors will have the chance to learn about many of these moths with fun activities, including an indoor educational presentation on moths, and an opportunity to explore their wings under a microscope. Experts from the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House will be at the event to answer questions and display an array of pinned moth specimens. Outdoor activities like the moth ID station will feature black lights, which attract moths to hanging sheets for visitors to study. Expert staff will be available to help identify moths that come to the sheets.
Keeping with the nature party theme, participants can show off their best moves at the Silent Dance Party. Here, dancers will supply any music they choose by bringing their own portable playback devices like iPods, phones, or Walkmans, and headphones. Everybody gets to dance to the beat of their own drums. The Tikiz Shaved Ice & Ice Cream truck will be on hand for visitors who would like to purchase tasty treats. There will also be moth-themed crafts to entertain the young ones.
Participants should plan on bringing flashlights or headlamps, as MDC staff will have area lights turned off to enhance the nighttime event. No advanced registration is required, and Moth Night is a family event open to all ages. Come experience the world in which these mesmerizing “butterflies of the night” live.
Rockwoods Reservation is located at 2751 Glencoe Road, off Highway 109 between I-44 and Highway 100.