Moth, insect that, together with the butterfly, makes up the order Lepidoptera. Most moths have intricately patterned, dull-colored wings to camouflage them. When a moth larva, or caterpillar, hatches out from its egg, it eats the leaf, plant, or fabric on which it was laid. Caterpillars cause extensive damage to trees, crops, and clothes. As caterpillars grow, they shed their skin. In the final stage of growth, when it is known as a pupa, the caterpillar changes into an adult moth. Most moths sleep during the day and come out at night. They are drawn by the radiation around bright lights. There are about 120,000 known species of moths, ranging from minute wingless forms to giants several inches across.