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  Topic: Peppered moth resting locations, and the assertions of Wells and others..< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 36
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 22 2002,10:01   

I am not sure if these have been mentioned but an interesting 'discussion' between Wells and Musgraeve can be found at Peppered moths


…Using caged moths, Mikkola (1984) observed that `the normal resting place of the Peppered Moth is beneath small , more or less horizontal branches … probably high up in the canopies, and the species probably only exceptionally rests on tree trunks…'
…In twenty-five years of field work, Clarke (1985) and his colleagues found only one peppered moth on a tree trunk…

…in the 1980s…biologists found that in the wild peppered moths do not rest on tree trunks…


   (2) Even if the correct number were 168 rather than 6, this would still represent only a tiny percentage of the tens of thousands of peppered moths studied by field researchers between the 1950s and 1990s.


Exposed tree trunks versus tree trunks

   (3) I do not claim that peppered moths NEVER rest on tree trunks, but only that they do not NORMALLY rest on tree trunks in the wild. This is the conclusion of everyone who has studied the natural resting-places of peppered moths, including Majerus. In addition to the conclusions you already cite from my work, I could add the following from Majerus's book: "Peppered moths do not naturally rest in exposed positions on tree trunks.... Data on the natural resting sites of the peppered moth are pitifully scarce, and this in itself suggests that peppered moths do not habitually rest in exposed positions on tree trunks.


And this incredible ignorant comment

  Finally, Thomas claims - without mentioning specifics - that I misrepresent a 1985 paper by Clarke, Mani & Wynne.  Clarke et al. (1985) wrote that "all we have observed is where the moths do NOT spend the day.  In 25 years we have found only two" - one on a tree trunk, and another on a wall near a mercury vapor trap.  To appreciate the significance of this - and the numbers cited in the other papers - it is helpful to note that Steward (1977) listed 52 studies conducted between 1952 and 1974, involving a total of 8,426 peppered moths.  Clearly, the one moth reported by Clarke et al. (1985), and the six moths reported by Majerus (1998) as resting on exposed tree trunks, represent only a vanishingly small percentage of all peppered moths studied.

  8 replies since Sep. 21 2002,13:06 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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