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Moths to lights

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abcdefg
855287.  Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:59 pm Reply with quote

I believe the answer to why moths fly to lights was given as a "nobody knows". Is it because they think that is the way out ?

 
Ameena
855319.  Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:45 pm Reply with quote

The way out of where? The ones already outside will still fly into an open window if there's a light on in the building ;).

 
mckeonj
855399.  Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:45 am Reply with quote

You want the answer to why do moths fly towards the light?
They just do, that's all.

 
abcdefg
855514.  Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:27 am Reply with quote

What I think is that moths are not unique (other insects do the same), and they fly to a light in the thought that from wherever they are, that is the way out to daylight (not being aware of going into a buliding or not).

At work years ago a bird flew into the building and by turning off all the lights and leaving one door open, the bird flew out.

Don't think it's so much about where the moths are, as to the light being seen as the route to go from where they are, in the same that if you were lost in a forest you would look for a clearing.

 
mckeonj
855542.  Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:17 pm Reply with quote

or 'move to the light' if undergoing mammalian birth.

 
gruff5
855685.  Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:59 am Reply with quote

I thought I heard it said on QI TV itself that moths navigate by the moon. They basically keep it ahead and to the right, say, and thereby ensure they fly in a straight line. If a moth mistakes a light for the moon, this behaviour will ensure they spiral in towards the light, which is what is seen.

 
Lordwarkworth
858323.  Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:13 am Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
I thought I heard it said on QI TV itself that moths navigate by the moon. They basically keep it ahead and to the right, say, and thereby ensure they fly in a straight line. If a moth mistakes a light for the moon, this behaviour will ensure they spiral in towards the light, which is what is seen.


I agree. I was surprised that no one mentioned Phototaxis in this part of the show. This being movement based on the stimulus of a light source I would have thought that moths are maybe phototaxic organisms due to their being drawn to bulbs, lights, fires etc?

 
14-11-2014
1142323.  Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:00 am Reply with quote

Lordwarkworth wrote:
I would have thought that moths are maybe phototaxic organisms due to their being drawn to bulbs, lights, fires etc?

Diurnal butterflies will also use lights to navigate when flying during the night. If the Sun can be seen too, then one can clearly observe that flying butterflies aren't always aiming for the Sun. So it still must be possible to find butterflies in Scotland.

 

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