The second annual National Moth Week starts today, July 20, 2013 and runs through July 28, 2013.
Why moths? As the news release says, in part:
Moths are part of the Lepidoptera insect order, but don’t get the same respect or admiration that their colorful daytime cousins – butterflies – do. Yet, there are hundreds of thousands of moth species, many as beautiful as butterflies, and just as important or more to the ecosystem. Moths also can tell us a lot about our changing environment by their geographical and seasonal distribution.
National Moth Week literally shines a much-needed spotlight on moths and their ecological importance as well as their biodiversity. The event allows people of all ages to become “citizen scientists” and contribute scientific data about moths they observe in their own communities. Participating in National Moth Week can be as simple as turning on a porch light at night and watching what happens, or going outside in daylight to find caterpillars and diurnal moths, often mistaken for butterflies.
To observe National Moth Week, we just might let some Lepidoptera visit Wild About Ants.
How do ants and Lepidoptera get along? Interactions include:
1. Ants are known to be predators of caterpillars and moths.
How do ants catch something that can fly when they can’t fly? The answer is shown in this video:
Also, see Ants Use Velcro to Catch Large Prey at Smithsonian Magazine.
2. Ants also tend the caterpillars of blue butterflies, protecting them. More about this later in the week.
3. Ants scavenge dead moths that end up on the ground.
4. Probably a certain number of interactions are like this one, where the participants may not even be aware of one another.
Sounds a bit like a lot of aspects of life, doesn’t it?
Are you doing anything special for National Moth Week?