do Leps walk?

Hugh McGuinness hmcguinness at
Sat Jan 17 08:22:13 EST 2009

I have noted similar walking behavior for apparent escape purposes in  
several Xylenines when they drop from tree bait in response to my  
light. When they have dropped into the litter and I re-find them they  
will often try to escape by walking. In addition, almost every Lep  
that I have seen at bait walks around a little to approach the bait.  
At my sheets and black lights there are many species that seem to walk  
for a while before they settle down, although I have never stopped to  
think about which species do this. And when I am photographing moths,  
I shine a light on them to focus my camera. It is fairly common for  
moths to walk away from the light, although once again I have never  
noted the species that walk versus fly away.  Perhaps this is a  
project for next season.


Hugh McGuinness
The Ross School
18 Goodfriend Drive
East Hampton, NY 11937
hmcguinness at

On Jan 17, 2009, at 12:20 AM, The Arthurs wrote:

> Hi. Thanks for your responses on Metardaris cosinga. It is a very  
> interesting Lepidopter. I am interested on walking vs. flying in  
> creatures that can fly, and why birds almost always walk if they  
> can. What about Leps? Do you know of any Lepidopters that can fly  
> that regularly walk? I have seen Noctua pronuba moths, after being  
> swiped at with a net, drop to the ground (the cold cement of a gas- 
> station) and run around in circles like a cockroach, apparently  
> thinking that it could run better than it could fly, and, therefore,  
> running was a better way to get away than flying. The moth was  
> definitely not injured by the net. That is the only time I have ever  
> observed a Lepidopter naturally walking rather than flying. Have any  
> of you seen or heard of any other such occurences? Are there species  
> that regularly walk rather than flying? Thanks.  -- Noah.

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