Reason Drawn to light !!

Photoaxis is the automatic movement of an organism either towards or away from a light. Have you ever seen moths flocking to the nearest source of bright light, and wondered why this was so? Well, now you know that the source of this phenomenon lies in photoaxis.

Creatures like cockroaches and moths make a beeline for the nearest source of light, no matter how dangerous that source might be.

Butterflies and moths come from an insect group called Lepidoptera, the fourth largest insect group in terms of species diversity. The name Lepidoptera means ‘scale wings’ and moths fit this description wonderfully as their wings are covered with thousands of tiny scales that are less than 1/100th of an inch wide.

Moths have been around for about 140 million years and studies tell us that they are sensitive to particular wavelengths of light. For instance, a white light will attract more moths than a yellow light. Scientific research has shown that some types of moths are known to migrate, and they depend on the night sky for navigation. In fact, studies have shown that moths might use the moon as the central reference point so that they move through the night following the moon’s path across the night sky.

Moths can’t distinguish between the moon and any other source of light — that is why they are generally confused when they end up near another source, like a light bulb or a fire.

So if they are confused, why do the moths stay fluttering around lights? This is because a moth’s eyes contain light sensors which they adjust according to the amount of light that these sensors detect. But once they come too close to a bright light, the moth’s eye sensors experience difficulty going back into the dark, as the tiny creature is rendered blind for a while.

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