Project Noah Fun Fact: Metalmark moths

For every day of National Moth Week, our partner, citizen science website Project Noah featured a fun fact about moths. This is the last day of National Moth Week, but we hope you enjoyed all of the Fun Facts!

From Project Noah:

Metalmark moth (Brenthia sp.) spotted in Sri Lanka by PN user NuwanChathuranga.

Some moths in the metalmark family (Choreutidae), specifically moths in the Brenthia genus, are mimics of jumping spiders in the Salticidae family. You can check out videos S3 and S4 in the references to see trials with jumping spiders and control moths (S3) and trials with Brenthia moths (S4). In the trials with control moths, the jumping spiders readily preyed on the moths. However, with the Brenthia moths, the jumping spider appeared intimidated by the moth, suggesting the Brenthia moths are effective in mimicking jumping spiders.

You can participate in the global citizen science project National Moth Week! National Moth Week 2015 is July 18-26. Visit the website for more information and be sure to register a public or private event! An event can be as simple as observing the moths that come to a porch. During NMW, be sure to post your photos to our website and add them to the National Moth Week mission, Moths of the World!

References:

Rota J, Wagner DL (2006) Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their Jumping Spider Predators. PLoS ONE 1(1): e45. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000045 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0000045

About Jacob Gorneau

Jacob Gorneau is an undergraduate student studying entomology at Cornell University.
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