Moths Learn To Avoid Artificial Light

We have all seen those dimwitted moths that fly aimlessly around artificial light sources only to eventually kill themselves by landing on the excessively hot surfaces of the light bulbs. This is only a small picture of a much bigger problem. Artificial light sources are increasing on this planet and our ecosystem is suffering on account of this increase. However, there is good news according to a group of Swiss zoologists. It turns out that moths are learning to avoid artificial light sources, therefore, the negative impact on our earth’s ecosystem is lessened.

You have heard of Darwin’s theory of natural selection, right? Well, naturally, female moths favor male moths that avoid artificial light sources since…well…they don’t inadvertently kill themselves on super-hot light bulbs. Overtime this sexual preference for the types of moths that don’t accidentally kill themselves results in a population increase in the “right” types of moths, and, in this case, the “right” types of moths are the ones that know better than to dive bomb a scalding hot light bulb. So, in the end, nature has saved itself by increasing the health of our ecosystem by yielding more moths that don’t die, and therefore, more moths that are able to pollinate plants. Also, nature has given us a superior type of moth, which everybody can get behind.

Why are moths attracted to moths in the first place?