Vampire Moth Discovered

Posted on October 28, 2008  Comments (1)

Vampire Moth Discovered

Entomologist Jennifer Zaspel at the University of Florida in Gainesville said the discovery suggests the moth population could be on an “evolutionary trajectory” away from other C. thalictri populations.

In January, she will compare the Russian population’s DNA to that of other populations and other species to confirm her suspicions. “Based on geography, based on behavior, and based on a phenotypic variation we saw in the wing pattern, we can speculate that this represents something different, something new,” Zaspel said.

Only male moths exhibit blood feeding, she noted, raising the possibility that as in some species of butterflies and other moths, the Russian moths do it to pass on salt to females during copulation.

“There is no evidence it prolongs the life of the male, or anything like that,” she said. “So we suspect that it is probably going to the female.” The sexual gift, she said, would provide a nutritional boost to young larvae that feed on leaf-rich, but sodium-poor, diets.

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One Response to “Vampire Moth Discovered”

  1. Curious Cat Science Blog » Moth Jams Bat Sonar
    January 10th, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

    Conner says the work is “the first example of any prey item that jams biological sonar.” Conference attendee David Yager of the University of Maryland in College Park says Conner’s experimental paradigm is “very strong, and I do think he has documented jamming by a species of moth.”…

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