Not Just Bees: Moths are Pollinators Too
The Importance of Moths in Pollination
It turns out that moths are not just nocturnal creatures that fly around your porch light at night. Research has recently shown that they are also important pollinators, even of crops that feed humanity.
This discovery is crucial because, while bees have long been recognized as critical pollinators, they are facing serious threats like habitat loss and pesticides. Moths could be the key to ensuring pollination in these scenarios.
Moths vs. Bees
Moths and bees may seem similar, but they have different characteristics that make them ideal for different types of plants. Bees have a special molecule that allows them to see and be attracted to certain types of flowers that have UV patterns. Moths, on the other hand, are attracted to flowers that emit a strong scent, especially at night.
The Challenges of Studying Moths
Studying moths is not easy, as they tend to be active at night and are often difficult to catch. Researchers have had to use a variety of techniques, including acoustic monitoring and DNA analysis of their body parts, in order to gather information about their behavior and their role in pollination.
The Importance of Protecting Moths
As we continue to face threats to the bee population, it is becoming increasingly clear that we need to look beyond just one type of pollinator to ensure that our plants are being properly pollinated. Moths are an important part of this equation, and protecting their habitats is crucial to ensuring that they can continue to play their role in pollination.
Moths are no longer just the pests that fly around your porch light at night. They are secret, critical pollinators of many crops, especially those that feed humanity. While bees have long been recognized as important pollinators, moths are also crucial in ensuring that plants are properly pollinated, especially in the face of threats to the bee population. Protecting their habitats is essential to preserving their role in the ecosystem and to maintaining global food security. So, let’s save not just the bees, but also the moths!Original Article: https://www.wired.com/story/bees-get-all-the-love-wont-someone-think-of-the-moths/