Explore creatures of the dark during Moth Night event at Busch Conservation Area July 23

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Saint Louis
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St. CHARLES, Mo.—Moths; you might think of them as the “other” butterflies.  Both are members of the order, Lepidoptera.  Like butterflies, many species of moths are important pollinators.  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 nighttime event: Moth Night, Saturday, July 23 from 8:30-11:30 p.m. at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles.  Visitors will experience the wonderful world of Missouri’s moths in unique and interactive ways.  The event will also provide an opportunity to explore other creatures of the night too.  Area hours will be extended later especially for this event.

Did you know Missouri is home to many moth species, of a wide range of sizes and shapes?  They sport intriguing names such as beautiful wood-nymph, darling underwing, Luna, five-spotted hawk, and white-lined sphinx.  Moths play 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 microscopes.  Visitors can view 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.  Experts from the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House will be available to help identify moths that come to the sheets.

Other highlights will include after-dark musical performances by the Eco Tones Concerts ensemble from 8:45-9:15 p.m. and 10-10:30 p.m. Visitors can interact with members of the Missouri Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) and learn about the impacts that artificial light has on nocturnal creatures and night migrating birds. The Missouri IDA will also offer tips on how homeowners can conserve lights to help nighttime wildlife. 

Members from the Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri will also be present with telescopes set up for viewing the night sky.  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 free family event open to all ages.  Come experience the world in which these mesmerizing “butterflies of the night” live.

The August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area is located at 2360 Highway D, about two miles west of Highway 94. 

Sign up for email or text alerts to stay informed of MDC’s latest programs and events by going to  https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZoP.