Coming to Terms with Nature Terms

Distinguishing between nature terms can be confusing. What are the differences between butterflies and moths? What are the differences between fruits and vegetables? This guide will help you decipher the subtle differences in nature terminology.



toad on toadstool
A toad on a russula species mushroom, a few varieties of which are poisonous. The term “toadstool” is a holdover from the days when people believed a mushroom became poisonous when a toad sat under or on it.
PHOTO: BILL BEATTY
cecropia moth
Cecropia moth
BILL BEATTY
skipper butterfly
Silver-spotted skipper butterfly
DAYBREAK IMAGERY
millipede
Millipedes actually have about 150 legs and are docile herbivores.
DWIGHT KUHN
centipede
Centipedes, which have about 30 legs, are carnivorous hunters.
TOMVEZO.COM
desert tortoise
Desert tortoise
BRUCE WATKINS/ANIMALS ANIMALS
eastern box turtle
Eastern box turtle
DWIGHT KUHN
ladybug eating aphid
Can you find the bug in this photo? Despite its name, the ladybug technically isn’t a bug. However, the aphid pests they feed on are technically bugs.
DWIGHT KUHN
eastern mole
Eastern mole. Moles and voles have confusingly similar names, and both creatures are fuzzy little mammals with bad reputations for dastardly deeds in lawns and gardens.
MASLOWSKI PRODUCTIONS
vole
Meadow vole. Moles and voles have confusingly similar names, and both creatures are fuzzy little mammals with bad reputations for dastardly deeds in lawns and gardens.
DWIGHT KUHN











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