Moth: the beauties of the night
They are the strangers among butterflies. They still stand in the shadow of their popular relative, the butterflies. The reason: moths travel mainly in the dark. But we should not overlook them, because more than 3,300 butterfly species and thus more than 95 percent of the native butterfly species belong to them. Reason enough to put the “moths” (their popular name) in the right light.
Mostly well camouflaged
Mothes are mainly active at night or at dusk. Nightlife has the advantage that most of the predators and food competitors are no longer out at night. The distinguishing feature of moths are their sensors, which are not thickened at the end. In addition, most nocturnal butterflies look rather inconspicuous. This way they can hide better from enemies during the day. And unlike butterflies, moths do not need colourful wings to attract potential partners. Rather, the females make do with pheromones, which are also perceived over long distances by the males.
But as always, there are exceptions. Several moth species are – although they show the typical adaptations to the nightlife – like butterflies predominantly active during the day.
Tip: How do I observe a moth?
If you want to observe a moth without great difficulty, you should look out for a day-active species like the green ram. But those who prepare themselves and bring along a little patience will discover a multitude of unexpected beauties at night. However, you have to do a little trickery.
In nature, many moths feed on rotting fruits. These are available in large quantities at the height of summer. A promising possibility is therefore to attract moths with a sweet and fermented liquid mixture (for example fermenting wine or beer mixed with sugar and fruit puree) that can be applied to tree trunks. A weakly lit torch should be used for observation. Good luck!