What did moths do before lightbulbs??

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by IdahoDoug, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    My wife and I were watching a moth that got into the room bash itself senseless on the reading light just like the dozens doing same on the outside of the house. What's the function of the attraction to light moths have, and what did they do before we invented light bulbs, used candles, etc?? Were they sleeping all night??

    DougM
     
  2. Bluto

    Bluto

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    :confused: HMMMMMMMMM. Good question. I would say they had the inate ability to be attracted to light (artificial or natural) but never shown it before the human use of fire. So, I would concur with your answer.
    Or maybe they were hanging out with the fireflies.
     
  3. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily...

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    They used to bounce themselves off the moon.
    When it was a new moon, they just slept.

    You're question is sort of like asking, "Where did barn owls live before there were barns?"
     
  4. OZCAL

    OZCAL

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    Or, "who milked cows before there were people?"

    Well, sort of.

    No, not really.

    Never mind.

    ;)

    But seriously I think moths did everything they do know, aside from flitting around porch lights. Like a lot of bugs, I'm sure the quantity of moths expands to fill the niche available, so (tangent) the distraction of man-made lighting probably affected the ecosystem little. In other words, the moth-work, whatever it may be, is still getting done by them or some organism similarly talented but not so easily lured to the opium den of G.E. 40 watt.

    Then again, who knows!

    Good question.
     
  5. lingo

    lingo

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    I just think they are trying to put out the d@mn light so they can go to sleep. :D
     
  6. HawkDriver

    HawkDriver

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    Are you kidding me? The answer is obvious, but I'm glad you asked. They didn't even exist before the lightbulb was invented. We are all matters of energy that are attracted to power sources. Moths are like half in this dimention and half dead with no purpose in life. When we die our spirits leave our bodies and meet with the others in a rush towards the big ball of energy that is made up of all the other spirits in the sun and there we wait for our turn to reincarnate. If not our sun then maybe one we can't see, or maybe in the next galaxy over. Moths are merely here to mirror this to those of us who pay attention. :idea:
     
  7. scottm

    scottm

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    Jaden has been catching everything that looks like a butterfly and letting it loose in the house, kinda fun. He's very careful to ask if each one will eat our clothes before letting it loose in the house. I haven't noticed any of these hanging around the lights, in fact they act very tame indoors, riding around on Jadens arm or head, or staying on the window where he leaves them. We just caught a huge caterpillar today in Boyne, looks ready to pupate or whatever into a moth (Antheraea polyphemus, 4 to 6 inch wingspan). We'll see what happens with this monster moth, maybe we can do some experiments. It'll have no digestive tract, so we can eliminate any motives related to feeding or drinking. It doesn't sleep, and lives only to mate (any comments on that?). Perhaps mating and laying eggs near water is advantageous, so reflections of the moon off water attract it?
     
  8. skyshark186

    skyshark186

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    "dont go towards the light"

    "I ....cant.....help......it...."
     
  9. scottm

    scottm

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    Wow, instant gratification, it's spinning a cacoon already! It's in a jar too small for the moth it apparently will become, so I'm scrambling to find an aquarium or terrarium big enough. I have plenty of clear polycarbonate sheets, I could silicone glue something together, but I wonder what all that chemicals smell would do to a bug trapped in there? Maybe I'll break down and buy something.
     
  10. swank60

    swank60

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    What's weird is that I heard the answer to this question just the other day on the radio...unfortunately I was only half-assed listening.

    The whole lightbulb thing has to do with their internal navigation system, and how it changes at night (they're like homing pigeons) - and that the light bulbs throw them off. I won't go any further than that because I don't want to sound like the natural science editor for Modern Jackass.

    Here's what I don't get; WhyTF are they not atracted to the yellow lightbulbs?



    *anyone get the "This American Life reference? :D
     
  11. swank60

    swank60

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    I'd also like to throw props out to IdahoDoug for coming up with what has to be the best thread title ever.
     
  12. Josie'sLandCruiser

    Josie'sLandCruiser Stop calling it a "FJ."

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    Hi All:

    Interesting thread.

    I've often wondered what dogs did before there were cars?

    I mean, they seem to enjoy hanging their heads out the window soooo much!

    Were they just really bored before the automoblie was invented??

    Regards,

    Alan
    Seattle
     
  13. Woodie

    Woodie Guest

    They would fly around till someone struck a match off their crotch then they would attack.
     
  14. Woodie

    Woodie Guest

    They did the same thing that tires did before the auto was invented.
     
  15. expat

    expat

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    And...

    What was Captain Hooks name before he lost his hand... :confused:
     
  16. Liam

    Liam

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    they were eating grandpas sweaters....
     
  17. sandcruiser

    sandcruiser

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    Moths use point-source light as a navigational aid. When referencing the moon they can fly fairly straight over long distances due to the minimal change in viewing angle between themselves and the moon.

    When a pointsource of light is brighter (visually) than the moon, the simple minded moth mistakes the light for the moon and reckons its bearing on that light source. Problem is, as they pass it by they correct their trajectory to keep the light at the same angle, convincing themselves that they are flying straight, when in reality they are flying in a decaying circle which eventually ends with them whapping into the light source.

    They aren't as effected by yellow lights because their peak sensitivity is in the blue to near-UV range. You should see how many moths you can catch with a blacklight. They yellow lights don't have much blue (thus the yellow color we see).

    Wow. And they say I never use my degree....
     
  18. PUPTLAM

    PUPTLAM

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    I have always how hot dogs survive in the wild when they have no eyes?

    do other flys ride around on horse flys? maybe chasing dragonflys that breathe fire flys?
     
  19. PUPTLAM

    PUPTLAM

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    I have always wondered how hot dogs survive in the wild when they have no eyes?

    do other flys ride around on horse flys? maybe chasing dragonflys that breathe fire flys?
     
  20. Jman

    Jman

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    Two weeks ago, while camping with my sister, I managed to convince my nephew that, just like deer flies and horse flies, there were also moose flies, which were even bigger still, and took a real nasty bite out of you. :eek: I don't think he believed my bit about whale flies that swim underwater and have a proboscis that will puncture you straight through, and he definitely started to doubt that there once was a dinosaur fly that was now extinct because it's food source was gone. :rolleyes: My niece, who is 4, thought the idea of a whale fly was fascinating. :D
     
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