Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
People who study butterflies and/or moths are called lepidopterists; the study of butterflies is known as butterflying, and the study of moths mothing , the latter giving rise to the term mother for someone who takes part in this activity - sometimes written with a hyphen inserted: moth-er - to distinguish it from the word for a female parent (in spoken English, confusion does not arise as the two are pronounced differently).
Some moths are leaf miners.
Attraction to light
Moths are apparently attracted to light, or more specifically, are known to circle bright objects. The reason for this behaviour is not known. It may be moths navigate by maitaining a constant angular relationship to a bright celestial light (such as the moon), but on encountering a bright artifical light it navigates maintaining a constant angle to the light resulting in the moth flying in a spiral until it hits the light source.
However, researchers such as Henry Hsiao suggest the reason for moths circling lights has to do with a visual distortion called a Mach band. Henry Hsiao conjectures that moths, as nocturnal creatures, fly towards the darkest part of the sky in pursuit of safety. Moths are thus inclined to circle ambient objects in the Mach band region, usually at a radius of about one foot, depending on the species.
Night blooming flowers usually depend on moths (or bats) for pollination, and artificial lighting can draw moths away from the flowers, impacting the plant's ability to reproduce. Light pollution is coming under increasing scrutiny as a source of many subtle ecological changes.
Moths as pests
Moths are commonly regarded as pests because the larvae of a few species eat fabric such as clothes and blankets made from natural fibres such as wool. They are less likely to eat mixed materials containing artificial fibres.
There are some reports that they can be repelled by the scent of wood from juniper and cedar, by lavender or by other natural oils. However, many consider this unlikely to prevent infestation. Naphthalene (the chemical used in mothballs) is considered more effective, but there are concerns over its effects on health. Freezing items infested with moth larvae will not kill them.
Moths are sturdy and usually require a bigger force to kill them than mosquitos or flies.
Others may have caterpillars which are agricultural pests, such as the Codling Moth .
Moth species include:
- Emperor Gum Moth Opodiphthera eucalypti
- Atlas moth Attacus atlas
- Cotton bollworm or corn earworm a major agricultural pest
- Death's Head moth Acherontia sp.
- Gypsy moth Lymantria dispar
- Luna Moth Actias luna
- Peppered moth Biston betularia
- Pasture Day Moth
- Bogong Moth Agrotis infusa
- Ghost Moth Hepialus humuli
- Common Swift Hepialus lupulinus
- Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae
- Emperor Moth Pavonia pavonia
- Oak Hook-tip Drepana binaria
- Peach Blossom Thyatira batis
- Buff Arches Habrosyne pyritoides
- Figure of Eighty Tethea ocularis
- Large Emerald Geometra papilionaria
- Blotched Emerald Comibaena bajularia
- Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria
- Blood-vein Timandra griseata
- Small Fan-footed Wave Idaea biselata
- Small Dusty Wave Idaea seriata
- Riband Wave Idaea aversata
- Silver-ground Carpet Xanthorhoe montanata
- Garden Carpet Xanthorhoe fluctuata
- Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata
- The Spinach Eulithis mellinata
- Barred Straw Eulithis pyraliata
- Common Marbled Carpet Chloroclysta truncata
- Juniper Carpet Thera juniperata
- May Highflyer Hydriomena impluviata
- November Moth Epirrita dilutata
- Pale November Moth Epirrita christyi
- Autumnal Moth Epirrita autumnata
- Winter Moth Operophtera brumata
- Slender Pug Eupithecia tenuiata
- Foxglove Pug Eupithecia pulchellata
- Mottled Pug Eupithecia exiguata
- Lime-speck Pug Eupithecia centaureata
- Wormwood Pug Eupithecia absinthiata
- Currant Pug Eupithecia assimilata
- Common Pug Eupithecia vulgata
- Grey Pug Eupithecia subfuscata
- Tawny Speckled Pug Eupithecia icterata
- Bordered Pug Eupithecia succenturiata
- Ash Pug Eupithecia fraxinata
- Golden-rod Pug Eupithecia virgaureata
- Juniper Pug Eupithecia pusillata
- The V-Pug Chloroclystis v-ata
- Green Pug Chloroclystis rectangulata
- Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata
- The Streak Chesias legatella
- Treble-bar Aplocera plagiata
- Clouded Border Lomaspilis marginata
- Latticed Heath Semiothisa clathrata
- Purple Thorn Selenia tetralunaria
- Scalloped Hazel Odontopera bidentata
- Scalloped Oak Crocallis elinguaria
- Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria
- Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria
- Dotted Border Agriopis marginaria
- Bordered White Bupalus piniaria
- Pine Processionary Thaumetopoea pityocampa
- Pine Beauty Panolis flammea
- The silkworm Bombyx mori is the larva of a moth.
- Life cycle photos of the salt marsh moth Estigmene acrea
- UK Moths
- UK Lepidoptera
- Butterflies and Moths of the Netherlands
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