Moths


Moths_Main imageView/download printable version.

More information

Moths carry out a crucial service in nature – pollination. Lots of studies have demonstrated that moths are the second most important pollinator of plants next to bees!

Learn more about the differences between butterflies and moths here.

Moths are generally nocturnal and are eaten by birds, bats, spiders and even other insects like mantids. During the day these moths usually settle down amongst some twigs, leaves or soil to avoid being detected by their enemies. At night, when they are active they have to find ways to escape their enemies.

Insectivorous bats see at night using sonar – they send out sound waves and when these are reflected back from objects (such as moths) they can figure out the object’s size, shape, its distance from the bat and in which direction it’s moving. In this way bats can quite accurately ‘see’ moths at night. Some moths that are the target of bats, have found a way to avoid becoming a bat’s meal. They not only have ears that help them detect these bats, they produce clicking sounds at a rate of 4500 clicks per second to jam the bat’s sonar. The bats know there’s a moth out there, but they can’t say exactly where. And the moths then make their escape.

 

Contest

Send us a drawing of the most interesting moth you see and tell us why you think it is interesting. If you have set up a light-trap in your garden or balcony, do send us a photo of it! Share your notes for a chance to win a book on Indian insects at edu@ncf-india.org

Comments welcome!