Like a moth to flame 

Like a moth to flame 

Sara • 04/10/2024


Where did the saying, like a moth to a fame originate and why do moths in reality do this?

The theory is that moths use light, such as the moon, to navigate flight. The moonlight acts as a natural reference point for them and by placing an artificial light out, they get confused and fly around frantically in circles. The other thing that helps with their flight is the use of their antennae. Previously antennae were thought to be used just for smell and touch but recent research has shown that they use their antennae as gyroscopes. They will measure pitch and angle of flight allowing them to orientate themselves and follow a specific course. 

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A moths wings are made up of chitin which forms thousands of small scales that are light enough but strong enough to support flight. These little scales are very easily damaged and if you (or your kids) have ever picked up a moth and been left with a dusty film, this is actually the scales.

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Often moths have eyespots on the wings, which are used as further protection against predators. The moth will open the wings showing these eyespots making the predator think that this creature is too big to eat. 

Moths have evolved perfectly to be able to move from one place to the next and evade their predators expertly.What do moths actually do though and what is their purpose?

There are 3 main ecological purposes which moths fulfil:

1 Moths are plant controllers! as the caterpillars of moths are herbivores and feed heavily on certain plant species, which in turn controls the plants.

2 Like bees and certain animals like chimps and lemurs, they pollinate many different plants species taht wouldn’t exist without them.

3 They provide food for predators. As good as they are at evading predation, there are still many mouths to feed from owls, to bats to spiders.

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