percentage of moths at lights
mikayak at ix.netcom.com
Thu Aug 19 23:23:02 EDT 1999
Are there any studies that have determined the percentage of the
population of moths in a given area that actually come to lights? I've
always felt that only about .1% of the moths in a given area will
actually come to a light. I've just seen the multitudes of moths in my
headlights as I drive down country roads and have always wondered. But,
here is what happened last week that really kind of amazed me. Here's
the story. I had a Antheraea oculea female out calling. She was in a
cage that I had set on the side of my house. It was on top of two very
large "nested" flowerpots. The pots had about a 3 inch gap between
thier outer rings. Anyway, I put a few oculea males in with her....no
luck. this went on for a few days and all of the males beat themselves
up and died. So, I'm out there one night around 4AM, cussing at the
moths when I start getting pummeled by Poly's. She was calling them in
(I live in a Oak-Hickory climax forest in MAryland). Anyway, I grabbed
2, put them in, and they also didn't mate (another whole long
frustrating story). Well, THIS practice went on for 2 or 3 more days
till I just gave up. I cussed at her some more and threatened her with
the freezer....but never actually got around to it. I just left her
hanging in the cage for about a week. Well, anyway, a few days ago, I
was standing out there during the day, cussing at her for not mating,
when I heard a rustling under the cage. I thought "oh, thier must be a
Poly stuck between the pots". So, I picked up the cage, took apart the
pots, and there were 4 or 5 live polys, along with about 200 dead ones
that got stuck between the pots. It was shocking to say the least. For
a good 4 or 5 seconds, I thought they were just all dead leaves. Then I
started to see the patterns.
Now, the cage covered 80% of the gap (it's bigger than the
pots....but square). And, only a small percentage of the actual poly's
called in could have gotten trapped. I estimate that she had to call in
at least 2000 males in the course of the week. And, during this entire
time, I only got 4 or 5 polys at my MV lights all about my house.
I'd love to set up a calling poly and some sort of mist net.
Just thought I'd share.....
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