Moth Tattoos: 60+ Designs of Different Styles for Men & Women

Moth tattoo
We’ve gathered 60+ moth tattoo designs for different body parts for your inspiration. Bonus: real meanings for each tattoo idea in our article.

The moth tattoo is more unique than commonly used butterfly designs. Many consider this tattoo to be more depressing or less feminine, but it is not.

Also, this insect is one of the few possible in the popular Trash Polka style, which cannot be applied to all tattoo ideas due to its special rules. This adds a wide variety of possible ways to implement it on the body. 

In addition, a moth tattoo looks more beautiful in large sizes, based on its non-standard appearance on the chest, arm, neck, leg, or forearm. Moreover, you can learn in our article why moth tattoo ideas are so popular now.

Moth Tattoo Secret Meaning

Since ancient times, moths have been considered mystical insects that keep many secrets. It is believed that moths can exist in both in the world of the living and the dead. Therefore, a tattoo with this insect is very symbolic and can transfer to the owner such qualities as:

  • The ability to enjoy life.
  • Youth.
  • Unpredictability.
  • Protection from the influence of otherworldly forces.

In addition, the meaning of a tattoo with a moth can depend on the traditions and beliefs of certain peoples.

  • Physical attractiveness
  • The beginning of a new life
  • Renewal
Germans have the belief that when a caterpillar falls asleep, a moth is born. Therefore, the moth there is a symbol of the revival of life.
  • The transience of earthly existence
This interpretation originates from the fact that some types of this insect are born and die in a single day. Also, Mexicans believe that moths first appeared from the flame of stars, and because of this they are always desperately pulling towards the light again.
  • Family hearth
  • Home comfort
  • Harmonious family relationships
The Chinese believed a moth brings happiness and peace to a home. Therefore, they are very reverent to this insect.
  • Beauty
  • Grace
  • Admiration of the beautiful
The Japanese have long appreciated everything beautiful, tender, and neat, so their admiration for moths is not surprising. They see in this insect the personification of beauty, accuracy, and sophistication.
Moth tattoo on the arm

Moth tattoo designs have maintained their leading position among tattoo trends for several years now. It is very difficult in modern times to keep people committed to one style or tattoo idea. But the moth tattoo does a great job of this. It can be because of certain factors described below.

  • The moth tattoo is very aesthetically pleasing and varied in design.

Because of its symmetry, moth designs look very attractive in both large and small sizes. It is also one of the few animal tattoo ideas possible in the unique Trash Polka style.

  • The moth tattoo means reincarnation and rebirth.

There is an idea that tattoos have the power to change the life of their owner: what they mean is what they bring. Therefore, many people want to attract positive changes in their lives through moth tattoos.

  • The moth tattoo fits the style of its owner perfectly.

In today’s world, it is increasingly common to see people, especially women, adopting indie culture. It helps them feel like themselves, and express their beauty, style, calmness, and confidence more deeply. Also, some people choose the moth tattoo as an accessory to enhance their style.

Top 5 Body Parts to Get a Moth Tattoo

The body parts to receive a moth tattoo are chosen based on several criteria:

  • Size of the tattoo.
  • The degree of pain in certain areas.
  • The fading speed of the tattoo.

We described and evaluated all of these criteria further for each body part we’ve selected for the best moth tattoo. Therefore, you will be able to choose the most suitable idea for you without any problems.


A tattoo on the forearm is one of the most popular options, because:

✅ This place is one of the least painful.
✅ The wound heals quickly and without complications.
✅ It is possible to choose almost any design (although it is better to choose an elongated idea for the whole length or an ordinary one closer to the elbow).

This part of the body is not limited in the size and style of tattoos. A common choice is a mandala, as it very gracefully stretches the shape of the tattoo. The most non-painful places on the forearm are its outer and back parts, while the tattooing on the inner part causes more discomfort.

Degree of pain: ⭐ (1/5)

Tattoo fading speed: ⭐⭐ (2/5)

Tattoo size: ⭐⭐⭐ (3/5)


Tattoos on the chest usually involve larger designs that cover most or all of the surface area. But this part of the body is also the most painful, based on the opinions of both tattoo artists and owners. It is so due to the following:

❕ There is almost no fat layer on the chest.
❕ Thin and sensitive skin.
❕ There is not a lot of muscle to soften the pain.
❕ Breasts move when breathing, increasing the pain of tattooing.

You should also consider that the pain is not limited to the session with the tattoo master. When tattooing other parts of the body, the pain may go away in 1-2 hours, while after getting a tattoo on the chest, it torments its owner for another 6+ hours after the session.

Degree of pain: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)

Tattoo fading speed: ⭐ (1/5)

Tattoo size: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)


The hand as a place for tattooing is becoming more and more popular every year. Designs on this part of the body no longer cause problems with employment, as society has become more tolerant in this respect. But this tattoo is still chosen by brave people, not because of public opinion, but because of the painful sensations it causes in the process of getting it.

❗️ Remember:
the closer you get to your fingers, the worse the pain of getting a tattoo becomes.

The hands are full of nerve endings, there is no fat layer, and there is no muscle on the back of the hand. All this indicates that to get a tattoo on this part of the body, you should be ready to tolerate a lot of pain.

Degree of pain: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)

Tattoo fading speed: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Tattoo size: ⭐⭐ (2/5)


A tattoo on the neck is very popular among women because it adds femininity and mystery to the design. But for women, this tattoo area is more painful than for men. Women’s skin is softer and thinner than men’s, especially in such sensitive areas.

If we add to this the fact that women use body care creams more often than men, the painfulness of the procedure will also increase. This is because the cream makes the skin more gentle and soft. It is most painful to get a tattoo on the front of the neck, while on the sides and especially on the back it becomes less noticeable. This is because in the front of the neck the skin is thinner, while in the back it is thicker and rougher.

Degree of pain: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)

Tattoo fading speed: ⭐⭐⭐ (3/5)

Tattoo size: ⭐⭐⭐ (3/5)


Legs are a popular place for tattooing among men, as it perfectly emphasizes the muscle tone and shape in this area. Legs constitute almost 20%  of a man’s body, which makes it one of the largest areas to get a tattoo. But more often than not, people choose medium-sized moth tattoo designs on their legs.

It is most painful to get a tattoo close to the bone, for both men and women. In this area, the bones are very close to the skin and are not separated by muscles. It is better to tattoo on the outer side of the thigh or the calves because the pain sensations there are much less during the tattoo session.

Degree of pain: ⭐⭐ (2/5)

Tattoo fading speed: ⭐ (1/5)

Tattoo size: ⭐⭐⭐ (3/5)

60+ Impressive Designs


A moth tattoo with a crescent moon is one of the most popular variations of this idea. The moon in this context means:

🌙 Motherhood.
🦋 Creativity.
🌙 Growth.
🦋 Femininity.
🌙 Mystery.
🦋 The desire to know harmony.

Death Moth With a Skull

There is a popular Latin expression known as “Memento Mori,” which means “Remember, we all die.” Using only this wording, you can accurately describe the meaning of a death moth tattoo. This tattoo is depicted with a skull on the insect and can also mean:

💀 Change in life.
🦋 Resilience.
💀 The desire not to stand still.
🦋 The value of life.
💀 Mystique.
🦋 Connection with nature.

Moth & Butterfly

Butterflies and moths are externally similar and without looking closely at the details of their appearance, it is very easy to confuse them. Their meanings are very similar to each other, too. So complementing each other in the overall composition of the moth and butterfly tattoo means:

🦋 Rebirth.
🦋 Desired change.
🦋 Struggle.
🦋 Freedom.


Although most moth tattoo designs are medium to large in size, minimalist ideas are still relevant. Their advantages include:

➕ Their price is lower than larger tattoos.
➕ The time it takes to get small tattoos is significantly shorter.
➕ Minimalist tattoos do not require detailed work.
➕ They are easier to cover up with clothes.
➕ You can add other tattoo elements at any time to create a complete composition.


This style gained popularity among sailors, who soon spread the trend around the world. However, they were then limited in ideas until the rise of famous tattoo artist Sailor Jerry, who combined the American traditional tattoo with pin-up models. 

Because of this, the style went beyond the usual framework of designs, diversifying with different elements. Now you can also find an old-school style moth tattoo. People who choose a tattoo design of a moth in the American traditional style do not want to go with the flow and obey the generally accepted standards of life. 


The modern offshoot of the traditional tattoo is its neo-traditional heir, which has retained some of its tendencies. Although tattoo designs in this style also use a black outline, they are full of a wider range of colors.

In addition, they are full of fabulous glitter and neon seediness. Neo-traditional moth designs sometimes resemble vivid graphic design, but on the body.


Tattooing a moth in the style of realism requires much more concentration and attention from the tattoo artist. Such unique detailing of ideas causes an increased price for their implementation.

In addition, you should be prepared for the fact that you will have a longer session in the tattoo parlor. It also causes more prolonged pain, so we don’t recommend you choose a realistic moth tattoo for your first design on your body.


To avoid ruining the tattoo experience and its appearance, we recommend that you choose only the most experienced and qualified tattoo artists.

Dotwork (Pointillism)

Dotwork (also known as pointillism) is a very delicate and neat style, but it is difficult to implement. Its most basic design element is the dot, not the line. The darker areas consist of a large number of dots, gathered closely together. The light areas are the opposite. But the result is worth the effort; just look at these stunning moth dotwork tattoo designs.


The mandala is a very philosophical type of tattoo, although in today’s world many people choose this because of their visual appeal. Moth tattoo design in this style will not only add aesthetics to your image but also become your spiritual amulet.

The moth mandala tattoo perfectly combines several styles in its designs. For example, it looks great in combination with the dotwork technique.

Trash Polka

Moth trash polka tattoo ideas are full of a rebellious spirit and brightly different in appearance from other styles. They are great for people who are not afraid to stand out with unconventional and even frightening features. Trash polka tattoos can be easily recognized by:

⭐ Sharp lines and colored strokes.
⭐ Dots and spots.
⭐ Torn contours.
⭐ The use of only black and red ink.
⭐ Combinations of abstraction and realism in designs.


Finding moth tattoo ideas is a complicated process that requires familiarizing yourself with the meanings. It is the only way to find the most suitable design. We’ve described all the popular moth tattoos and compared them with butterfly ideas because their appearances are very similar. However, they have some differences in their meanings. Images with a butterfly symbolize the realization of a person’s potential, and with a moth the ability to appreciate life.

This meaning and the ability to get moth tattoos in different styles, including the very intricate realism style, make this one of the most sought-after designs. However, it is difficult to choose one idea among millions. Therefore, we have collected 60+ moth tattoo designs, indicated their meanings, described other reasons for their popularity, and indicated the best body part for tattoos.


📖 What Is the Meaning of Moths in the Bible?

According to Matthew 6:19-20, the moth is a symbol of destruction because this insect causes the loss of earthly treasures.

🍀 Will a Moth Tattoo Bring Good Luck to Its Owner?

If you want to choose a tattoo that will become a talisman and bring good luck, moth designs are not for you. They are considered a harbinger of bad news. In Native American culture, moths meant the approach of death.

🔝 What Is the Most Popular Moth Tattoo Design?

The most popular moth tattoo design is the moon one. It is perfect for women because the moon is a symbol of femininity.


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