Yikes, a Moth!

Hummingbird moths appear in the daytime.
Hummingbird moths appear in the daytime.

The luna moth grows to a wingspan of four and a half inches.

Credit: David Moskowitz

What do you know about moths?  They are not the “Ick” insect you might of thought of as a child.  Because most, not all, are nocturnal we might not experience them except caught in a window or spider web. The best ones I have seen are in the bathrooms of campgrounds, and they are magnificent! This is National Moth Week, so what better time to get out and see if you can find and observe a moth.  This information is from  http://www.livescience.com/

Seven facts about moths:

1.There are more than 11,000 species of moths in the U.S. alone.

Moths outnumber butterflies, their nearest relative, by more than 10 to 1, said Matthew Shepherd, communications director and senior conservation associate at the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization focused on insect conservation in Portland, Ore. There are upward of 11,000 moth species in the United States alone — that’s more than all the bird and mammal species in North America combined.

A moth the size of a pencil tip.
A moth the size of a pencil tip.

Credit: David Moskowitz

2. Moths make great mimics.

Moths are notorious for their ability to camouflage to keep from being eaten.

3. Moths are important pollinators.

4. Many adult moths don’t eat.

While some moths suck nectar, others don’t eat at all. The adult Luna moth, for instance, doesn’t even have a mouth. After it emerges from its cocoon, it lives for about a week. Its sole mission in life? To mate and lay eggs

The luna moth grows to a wingspan of four and a half inches.

The luna moth grows to a wingspan of four and a half inches.

Credit: David Moskowitz

 

5. A male moth can smell a female more than 7 miles away.

Though they lack noses, moths are expert sniffers. They detect odor molecules using their antennae instead of through nostrils.  Male giant silkworm moths have elaborate, feather-shaped antennae with hairlike scent receptors that allow them to detect a single molecule of a female moth’s sex hormone from 7 miles (11 kilometers) away.

6. They are important food for many animals.

Because of their abundance, moths are major players at the bottom of the food chain.

7. Moths: The next superfood?

In some places in the world they eat moth caterpillars. They are high in fat and protein.

Read the entire article from livescience

 Explore the world of moths this week and enjoy!  Let us know where you see them?

 
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