Do moths taste with their feet?

Moth on a glass
Photo credit: stewickie
Q:

I understand that butterflies taste with their feet and I have always assumed that moths do as well. However when I try to find out about it, all I see mentioned is butterflies. Can you tell me for sure whether moths taste with their feet or in some other way?

- Wasco County, Oregon
A:

As a general rule, insects “taste“ (detect aromas and fragrances) in several ways. It’s true that they taste through their feet, but they also detect aromas in the air via their antennae and sensory hairs on their bodies. See this page about insect sensory organs from Mississippi State University.


You might also be interested in exploring more about insects as listed on the MSU insect home page

Jean R. Natter
Master Gardener Diagnostician
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