India is observing National Moth Week from July 21 to July 29
- The National Moth Week encourages people to observe and document moths in backyards and neighbourhoods.
- India is among the 40 countries in which citizen scientists and enthusiasts will be documenting insects
What is the main aim of National moth Week?
- To increase the awareness about the insects
When and Where was the National Moth Week started?
- Scientists of America initiated this idea back in 2012
How do people document the moths?
- Moths are naturally attracted to light, some observers use ‘light traps’. The most simple version of such a trap involves shining a bright light on a white wall or screen, to which moths flock.
- Observers can capture photographs on their smartphones and upload them on citizen science mobile applications (such as iNaturalist) and online biodiversity repositories such as the India Biodiversity Portal (IBP).
How many Species of Moths are in India?
Approximately 10,000 species of moths are there in India.
What are the various benefits that Moths provide?
- Moths are food for a wide variety of wildlife, including other insects, spiders, frogs, toads, lizards, shrews, hedgehogs, bats and birds. Night-flying adult moths form a major part of the diet of bats.
- Moths also benefit plants by pollinating flowers while feeding on their nectar, and so help in seed production. This also benefits many of our food crops, which depend on moths as well as other insects to ensure a good harvest.
- Moths also play a vital role in telling us about the health of our environment and ecosystem, like the canary in the coalmine. Moths are particularly useful as indicator species.
- Monitoring and keeping track of their numbers and ranges can give us vital clues to changes in our own environment, such as the effects of new farming practices, pesticides, air pollution and climate change.
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