|Please don't squash any stink bugs.|
In the interests of science, I took an extremely blurry photo of this moth that was hanging out on our grill cover. It caught my attention because of the stripes on its wings. This moth did not do a great job of picking a background that would help it blend in and avoid predators. If my iPhone ate moths, this little guy or girl would be dinner.
I'd like to find out what kind of moth this is. I know it's a moth, but a few weekends ago, my 6 yr-old and 4 yr-old were engaged in a very high level debate about the differences between moths and butterflies. We saw one of those ubiquitous white flutterers (I don't dare say it was a moth or butterfly because honestly I'm not sure) and the boys took turns calling out why they thought it was a moth/butterfly. "Moths only come out at night," said one. "It's a butterfly." "But it didn't have antennae," said the other. "It's a moth." They went on an on about wing shape. I have to get them a book to learn the differences...and so I can learn, too. We eventually settled their argument by reminding them that in the end, butterflies and moths are all in the same large family. (Have you had to discuss Linnaean Taxonomy with your preschooler and kindergartener yet? If so, let's hang out.)
|What am I?|
Reading on a bit more about the Peppered Moth reminds me that humans like to find one cause for an event, but life is rarely so simple. Turns out that during the research process that determined background camouflage made lighter moths easier to see, the scientist doing the study actually placed moths on tree trunks, in plain view. Rarely would a moth, in nature, choose to perch on a tree trunk. In the great tradition of scientific inquiry, the original findings were tweaked and pulled and teased to show that bird predation of lighter colored moths during the increase in sooty exhaust was only one factor in the changing quantities of light versus dark colored moths. Nature, and bugs, are really very complex and interesting subjects to study, and teach us a lot about the world around us.
Aha! I see it now, why my boys are so obsessed with the scuttling, crawling, wiggling things. Poke away, boys. Let's see what new theories you can propose...