How the Luna Moth Uses Its Tails

Luna moth (Wikipedia)

Actias luna (Wikipedia)

Biology graduate alumnus Dr. Jesse Barber  (Ph.D., 2007; now Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Boise State University) and colleagues have found that the twirling tips of the luna moth’s tails attract strikes from predatory bats. The joke is on the bat as the tip of the tail is expendable. The bat gets a mouthful of nothing instead of a juicy moth body, and the moth lives to fly another night. Read the original article, titled Moth tails divert bat attack: Evolution of acoustic evasion, published online the week of February 16 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But first go watch the video posted on ScienceNews. Jesse was a member of the Conner laboratory during his time in the Department of Biology.