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Simon

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Posted 26 September 2004 - 08:54 PM

It's raining outside. It's not normal rain either, it's that fine rain; you know the stuff that really wets you through. (What's that all about Grandma?) :uhm:

As I watched, a moth merrily flitted around apparently unscathed by the precipitation. I know moths are small but it still made me wonder how they manage to stay dry in the rain. :dunno:

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Puzzle

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 11:56 AM

Simon, you really do need to get out more :lol2:



Simon

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 12:54 PM

Simon, you really do need to get out more :lol2:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was! :dunno:

You don't know the answer though do you Puzzle? :P

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 03:39 PM

I believe the wings have a water resistant coating, but don't quote me on that!



Simon

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 03:51 PM

I believe the wings have a water resistant coating, but don't quote me on that!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Sorry for quoting you John. Are you serious? What like ducks?

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 04:04 PM

They can fly around in the rain, but if you touch their wings that's it Moth Death!! :death:

No idea how though!!


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Simon

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 07:23 PM

That's my point, they're so fragile surely one blob of rain and they'd be toast. Perhaps he was on his way to an important ball or something. :lol:

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 10:47 AM

Simon,

Don’t you remember when you were a kid and you got a net to catch butterflies & moths.

When you hold them all the powdery stuff comes off in your hands - I believe that powder is the waterproof coating that protects them.

Little nasty children are responsible for millions of butterflies losing their anoraks :(



Simon

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 11:18 AM

When you hold them all the powdery stuff comes off in your hands - I believe that powder is the waterproof coating that protects them.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh right…is that so. Are you guessing or do you know? I wonder what the powder is - probably something like asbestos. :)

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Simon

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 12:13 PM

It's what I was told as a kid - It seemed plausible then & still does but you know what some sick minded adults are like...

A good colleague of mine was telling me how good his children are when in the car. He always felt this was exceptionally remarkable when he compared notes with other parents on their horror stories.

It wasn’t until his son was 14 when it transpired that at an early age, my colleague had told his children that the cigarette lighter was an ejector seat button - if they were naughty he would press it. My colleague had subsequently forgot about his quick jest, however the children had absolutely believed it and 'lived in fear' thereafter.

Good parenting tip or completely cruel? My point being that children will believe anything, it is not until that belief is challenged that we sort through the chuff - so if someone could prove me otherwise I am happy to appear gullible :yeahrite:

Come on pest control people - put us out of our misery, you must know the answer :D


Edited by rheath, 28 September 2004 - 12:17 PM.


Simon

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 12:23 PM

Source: http://www.newton.de...0-199/nb192.htm

"Moths and butterflies have four scaly wings. If you handle them, what
appears to be dust comes off on your fingers. These dust particles are
minute scales, each a flattened hollow bristle with fine ridges on the
upper side. It is the pigments in these scales, which on many
butterflies and moths cover each wing like overlapping shingles on a
roof, that produce the colors and markings. Metallic iridescent colors
are due to the reflection or refraction of light by the tiny ridges. In
some cases, generally the males, certain scales are outlets for scent
glands producing an odor which, when perceptible to humans, has a
musky or flower-like fragrance."


So they are scales not asbestos dust, still don't know if they're waterproof.

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Simon


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Simon

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 12:46 PM

It was what I was told as a kid. :thumbdown:

I'm having none of it, you've got insider knowledge:

http://asab.icapb.ed...g_moths_1.phtml

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Simon


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Posted 28 September 2004 - 12:49 PM

More about moth and butterfly wings, some really good close-up's.

http://www.microscop...jbutterfly.html

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Simon


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Simon

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 12:51 PM

New moth scale theory. :o

Source: http://www.mos.org/s...em/bigmoth.html

"The wing of most moths are covered with scales. These scales detatch from the wings very easily. This may be an adaptation for escaping spider webs. If a moth flies into a web, the scales may stick but the moth will escape."

Seems plausible enough.

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Simon

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 12:54 PM

Backs up the spider theory, but still no mention of waterproofing.

http://lists.webexhi...messages?id=384

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Simon


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Simon

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 01:04 PM

It's still not conclusive. Some of the FAQ's on this site are great like "how do butterfly's go to the bathroom" and "have butterfly's got teeth." Almost as dumb as mine. :lol:

Source: http://www.mesc.usgs...tterfly-faq.asp

Q19: Where do butterflies go when it rains?

A19: Butterflies hide when it rains. They usually go to the same places they do for the night. Some butterflies hide under large leaves, some crawl down into dense leaves or under rocks, and some just sit head down on grass stems or bushes with wings held tightly. If the rains are exceptionally hard or of long duration many of the butterflies become tattered or die.

Q24: Why do they have dust on their wings?

A24: The dust on butterfly wings are modified hairs called scales. The scales have at least 4 functions, not necessarily on the same butterfly species:

(i) They form patterns of bright colors, sometimes with hidden ultraviolet pattern, that are used as signals to the other sex in attraction for mating.

(ii) The bright colors are used to advertise particular butterfly's bad tastes to predators. This protects them from being eaten.

(iii) The scales may form patterns that help the butterflies blend into their background and thus escape being eaten by birds or other animals by background resemblance.

(iv) Dark colors formed by the scales can be used by butterflies to soak up warmth from the sun that allows their bodies to warm up to flight temperatures in cool seasons or cool environments. Remember butterflies are cold-blooded.


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Simon


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Posted 28 September 2004 - 01:49 PM

I'm having none of it, you've got insider knowledge:

Simon,

I presume your reference to insider knowledge is about the 'Heath Trap'. Sorry mate but I know nothing about it..



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Posted 28 September 2004 - 03:42 PM

OK I believe you. :bye:

Still no conclusive evidence on the waterproof wings theory from any of the sources. Maybe an entimologist (I think that's right) will see this one day and answer.

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Simon


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Posted 28 September 2004 - 04:07 PM

I'm sure that you've already given the answer:

"These dust particles are minute scales, each a flattened hollow bristle with fine ridges on the upper side. It is the pigments in these scales, which on many
butterflies and moths cover each wing like overlapping shingles on a roof"

My basic understanding of roof design is that the overlapping of shingles is intended to provide waterproofing :o



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Posted 28 September 2004 - 07:18 PM

Yeah I saw that and thought the same thing, but I didn't read anywhere that the purpose of the scales was to protect their fragile wings from the rain. It makes sense though.

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 07:57 PM

Perhaps we need to ask a roofer?

I was thinking the physical weight of the raindrops would cause the moth to deviate from its intended course, and then get beaten down etc.

Maybe they have guttering and rooflines...............................hmm, any replacement roofline companies specialising in moths.?

Rambling again :thumbup:



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Posted 28 September 2004 - 08:15 PM

:lol: Good theory Puzzle, I agree they probably have some sort of guttering system, it's obvious. :doh:

My initial thought was that they actually dodged the raindrops somehow. Mind you I'd had a couple of glasses. :beer:

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 05:03 AM

Simon,

 

I am a biologist in profession and in my spare time. My job is to detect agricultural pests for my county, a couple of which are moths no bigger than 3-10mm in size. So, I spend quite a bit of time peering through microscopes and dissection scopes to properly identify any suspects.

Scales being removed is something that often present a bit of a problem for me. We use sticky traps to capture them, so often times, identifying features such as the presence of scales above the eyes are messed up by the glue. Scales are really easy to remove. For instance, even a perfectly preserved (non-glued) specimen will probably lose many of its scales when I turn it over to check out its abdomen - JUST from dropping some solvent on it. If you touch the scales, they come off - even with a probe. This means that hard rain will remove all of its scales. To my understanding, the scales provide insulation for the moth (as well as the other listed functions). This is probably the most important function. However, my personal theory is that the scales assist in flight as well (much as a birds feathers help it to fly by increasing surface area without adding too much weight). So, yes - if you remove the scales, the moth will probably die. If the rain is hard enough, it will knock the scales off. However, a fine mist probably won't penetrate the powder in most cases or cause damage. Lastly, some moths actually do have a waxy substance in their scales as a defense mechanism. In this case, the moth would indeed be waterproof. The scales can still be removed if roughed up too much, though. So, most moths hide under leaves (or under awnings and the like) when it rains. This is where they tend to rest anyways as a defense mechanism against the very topic you've addressed - adverse weather.

 

I hope this helps.

Cheers! 



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Posted 09 June 2016 - 03:44 PM

Simon, my theory is....moths have waterproof nao particles on the wings!! Just joking...

 

As many situations in life, things are simplier than we first thought. The explanation I found was

 

Moth weight: 500 miligrams

Raindrop weight: 70 miligrams

 

Putting that into human scale, the effect of a raindrop hitting a moth woulb be the equivalent to the effect of a 10 kilos ball falling down from the sky and hitting a human being. That is why moths run away from rain.

 

This could be an example of using the fish spine  as a problem solving tool.Regards



Charles.C

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 03:53 PM

Maybe moths have fully evolved since Post 22. Meet Supermoth.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C




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