Biston betularia

mothman mothman at
Sat Nov 20 20:13:33 EST 1999

Doug Yanega's comment that "no one ever has observed birds picking the moths
off of the trees" may be true for California but such predation has been
observed and reported by Kettlewell in England. I recall seeing a 'photo
(taken by Kettlewell) of a European Robin (nothing like the American
variety) taking a Biston betularia off a tree trunk. I can't find the
orignal paper but E.B. Ford gives a graphic account of the bird predation on
betularia in his classic MOTHS (1955), p.204.


-----Original Message-----

>It's hard to be certain whether this is entirely a legitimate criticism, or
>just someone trying to stir up controversy by science-bashing, but there is
>clearly *some* truth to it (i.e., no one ever has observed birds picking
>the moths off of trees).
>Doug Yanega       Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
>Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
>phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
>  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

More information about the Leps-l mailing list