Moths to Lights?

evoluhol at evoluhol at
Wed Aug 19 10:28:20 EDT 1998

Many moths are attracted to lights, Why?
Essentially, artificial lights are alien to their evolution.

Their attraction to lights is worldwide - from a subarctic micro to Asian atlas.
Most are attracted more to violet wavelengths of light than to yellow.
They are occasionally attracted to lights on clear moonlight nights.
They are -especially- attracted to lights on dark nights when a storm is
     - (do they fly more on these nights, or just more to lights these nights?)
Most are males, a few are gravid females.
Some kinds of moths are never attracted to lights.

Some butterflies, when disturbed while sleeping during the night may fly
to a light, but moths are already on the wing for their night flight when
they zero in.

Assorted theories have been proposed off and on for years.

Why do you think they do it?
If you will email me your opinion, or even theory with data, it will be
incorporated into a summary paper where I am compiling as many as I can
find of the theories together, a free copy of which will be sent to you
late in the fall.

Dave Bouton

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