Not all moths can fly

grebeman

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Barrie
Some moths have flightless females, here's one example.

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Vapourer moth caterpillar

after pupating this is what emerged

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female Vapourer moth

You can just see the vestigial wings as little stumps behind the antennae. The males are attracted by pheromones that the females pump out, although with this species I'm wondering if it isn't something in the hairs of the cocoon that she is sitting on because it is often the case that males are attracted to the cocoon before the female has even emerged from the pupa.


Panasonic G1 with Sigma 105mm, f/2.8 DG Macro lens.

Barrie
 

blue

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These are great Barrie. Over what timescale does this happen ?
 

grebeman

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Joined
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South Brent, south Devon (UK)
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Barrie
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
These are great Barrie. Over what timescale does this happen ?
It takes about three weeks for the moth to emerge from the pupa after the caterpillar pupates in this species (some species can spend 9 months as a pupa).
The males emerge before the females in all species so they are ready to mate with the females almost as soon as they emerge. That's the safest strategy, then the females can lay eggs to ensure the next generation, if they then fall victim to a predator it's not such a big loss since they have ensured the next generation.
I had a little accident with this one and although it attracted a male within a few minutes of me putting it out I was not able to photograph it :frown:
I've attracted males with other species and they can scent a female from up to 2 kilometres away and fly down the scent trail to where she is, they follow the path by virtue of being able to smell in stereo and they know when they have deviated off line and which way they have deviated.
Nature sure is wonderful.

Barrie

Barrie
 

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