Fwd: re: temperature sensitive?

Ernst.Neering at STAFF.TPE.WAU.NL Ernst.Neering at STAFF.TPE.WAU.NL
Tue Jun 16 08:45:11 EDT 1998

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - Original Message - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To:		IN%[Rebecca.Jolly at HRI.AC.UK]
From:		Ernst Neering at Staff@TPE.WAU
Date:		Tuesday, June 16, 1998 at 2:13:28 pm MET-DST
Attached:	None

On Monday, June 15, 1998 at 5:48:10 am DST,
Rebecca Jolly <Rebecca.Jolly at HRI.AC.UK> wrote:
>     A colleague (without internet access) was chatting to me and 
>     wanted to know the answer to the following:
>     Assuming that butterflies need warmth to fly, presumably moths 
>     require less warmth (as generally they are night-flying).  Are 
>     moths temperature sensitive?  At what temperature do they cease 
>     to fly?  What is the minimum temperature?
>     He has just reared some death's-head hawkmoths (Acherontia 
>     atropos) and I think this has sparked his interest!
>     If anyone can comment I would be very grateful as I am unable to 
>     answer his questions myself!
>     Thanks
>     Rebecca

Hello Rebecca,

Large moths (Noctuidae, Sphingidae, Saturnidae) have to warm up their flight muscles before they can take off. You will see them vibrating their wings and after some time they can fly away. If you find a hawkmoth sitting quietly and throw it up in the air, it will just crash. Not so if you do that with one that has warmed up. For the smaller ones like Geometridae, Tortricidae, Pyralidae, etc. I do not know. Maybe they have a different mechanism or they heat up with a few strokes only.

Hope this helps.

Ernst Neering
The Netherlands

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