Moth Tattoo: Meaning, Symbolism And Forms

Across generations, people have described tattoos by employing three contrasting words: taboo, trend, and art. The close association of tattoos with superstitions has been a fundamental trope of all cultures. 

Many societies have dismissed the art of tattooing by understating it. They have described it as a shallow cultural fervent that challenges the ‘normalcy’ of the human body.  Only recently, people have begun to look at it as an artwork that plays with design, hues, and natural symbolism. 

moth tattoo

For us, the practice of tattooing falls in the category of art for the simple reason that it intricately inks an idea or a feeling onto the body and translates it into a design. In doing so, tattooing becomes an act of claiming ownership and agency of your human body. 

Well, enough of the cultural significance of tattoos. Now, let us delve deeper into a more specific agenda that has created quite a critical buzz around the tattoo industry: moth tattoo– meaning and relevance. 

moth tattoo on hand

Moth Tattoo Meaning

To term it quite simply, we will describe moth tattoo meaning in a few points: 

  • Moth tattoo means imperfection so it represents a persons imperfection
  • Moth tattoo is the artistic designing of a common insect, moth, upon any part of your body to bring out a cultural relevance that the insect holds. 
  • These tattoos show large wings of the insect. A lack of antenna and the nocturnal nature makes a moth different from a butterfly, though they belong to the same family.
  • Have you seen a friend or a close acquaintance have a gorgeous tattoo commonly on their neck in the near-shape of a butterfly? Maximum chances are that the tattoo you have seen is a moth tattoo. 
  • They are illustrative figures that suggest transformation, acceptance, and spiritual alliance. 

To understand better, let’s look at the moth tattoo symbolism.

moth tattoo on hand

Moth Tattoo Symbolism

The function of art is to create symbols that can be reconciled with their natural occurrence, existence, and relevance in the world. Moth tattoo is interesting because of the figurative meanings that arise due to the properties of this fascinating insect. Listed below are some facets of moth tattoo symbolism:

moth tattoo

Impermanence and Transformation:

Just like butterflies, moths also undergo the process of metamorphosis. This natural phenomenon emphasizes their nature of outgrowing the past self to achieve a holistic transformation. 

Such a transformation comes when one understands the transience of life and chooses to transform their nature to get the most of life. 

As you would know, most people get tattoos that describe their inherent nature. Moths symbolize metamorphosis and people who are about to start a new phase in their lives consider it as a suitable option for a meaningful tattoo. 

Ability to Disguise:

Moths tend to disappear in the daylight because of their extensive adaptability to the atmosphere. They disguise themselves in the shade of the room, which makes them tough to spot. Moths often come out during certain phases of the moon. 

You can find them only when you see a moon in the sky. This symbolizes adaptability and acceptance of surroundings. 

That is why it is believed that moth tattoos resemble a sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance. They raise consciousness about accepting circumstances that are gloomy, to pave a way of self-growth. 


Did you know that these insects immediately get stimulated by any alteration in the environment that surrounds them? Yes, they are the first to detect a change in our environment. 

This is also symbolically relevant as it shows sensitivity in their character. Some individuals recognize a problem more naturally and sooner than others. 

That is a symbol of maturity and sensitivity to any kind of change. If you resonate with this idea, this moth tattoo symbolism might be beneficial for you to consider if you hope to get one sooner. 

Spiritual Solidarity:

You must know that moths are always in search of some source of illumination because they believe that light can guide them to a spiritual force. 

People interested in moth tattoos do not rely on humans for help and assistance. They have rather placed their hope on the Almighty for help and care. This resembles faith. 

While the fundamental idea remains the same, moth tattoo meanings might alter with different species of moths. Over 160,000 different types of moths surround us. Let’s find out the symbolic meaning of a few popular types such as the luna moth tattoo and the death moth tattoo.

moth tattoo on body

Luna Moth Tattoo

This tattoo has a small design of the moon. In reality, what makes luna moth strikingly different is their short life span. Once luna moths reach their adult age, they do not survive for more than a week as they do not have mouths with which they can eat. 

The mystical culture suggests a new luna moth meaning. It says that the luna moth shares a deep connection with the moon. With the waxing and waning of the moon, luna moths derive a strength of survival and sustainability.

luna moth tattoo

 Its light is the only source that luna moths follow and live for. Luna moths also represent a passion for the light of the fire. That is why they fly close to the flame of lamps and die with the effect of heat.

Luna moth tattoos represent love, impermanence, and change of life. They speak for a deeper love( as shown towards the light of the flames) that is all-consuming and strong enough to bear the fate of life. The luna moth tattoo meaning is new beginnings. 

luna moth tattoo on leg

If someone experiences a sudden shift in their life which forces them to start over, they must go for a luna moth tattoo as it functions as nature’s reminder that you have to let go of the past to allow new things in. 

luna moth tattoo

Death Moth Tattoo

Death is a common trope in the life of moths. However, some moths feature a skull-like form on their thorax. Skull moth tattoo, meaning death moth tattoo, is the design of these nocturnal beings upon the skin. Moths are not scared of the depth of the night. That makes them creatures of darkness.

Some death moths belong to the genus Acherontia, which etymologically, refers to Acheron, the river of the Underworld in Greek mythology. Tattoos featuring these are called death head moth tattoo meaning tattoos of moths with a human skull. 

One of the Asian species called A.Styx refers to Styx, the river of Hades, the God of the Underworld. This close association to darkness and death defines something peculiar about them. 

Death moths are resistant to death and they believe in fighting against it. Death moth tattoo meaning is simple– that those who have it are strong individuals who defy death and embrace their surroundings. They are certain that they have the power to fight hardships and come out unscarred. 

Less commonly used are gipsy moth tattoos, meaning tattoos of a species called Lymantria Dispar. This species of moths migrate from place to place, hence the name ‘gipsy’. 

Unfortunately, gipsy moth tattoos are rarely used owing to the bad omen that gipsy moths supposedly brought to the US, infecting the vegetation through defoliation.  


Moth tattoo meaning owes much to what myths have carried through art and literature. In works of Keats, Thomas Harris, and Edgar Allan Poe, you can find a description that adds a sense of relevance to the luna moth tattoos meaning and death moth tattoo meaning.

Overall, getting a moth tattoo is fascinating because it gives you a psychological reminder of transformation. It helps in self-assertion. Not only is the symbolic meaning of a moth tattoo relevant, but the tattoo also looks super gorgeous when intricately designed on your skin. 

If you are thinking along these lines, it is a green signal from us. We got it and we take all the pride in it.