Moth Talk

1 Corinthians 15:28
“And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

Scientists are learning that there is much more going on among those moths that flutter around your yard light than they ever expected.

Scientists have long known that moths communicate with each other, using hormones called pheromones. A female moth who is ready to mate will send a pheromone into the air. Males who sense the pheromone will seek out the Moth Talkfemale. Research now shows that the moths’ system is much more elegant than this.

The female who wants to contact a male doesn’t simply send out a scented invitation. Rather, she releases her pheromones in a series of pulses. These pulses are released at the rate of from one to more than two pulses per second. Scientists used powder to study the pulses. To their surprise, they discovered that the pulses can be propelled for up to a meter. That’s equivalent to you being able to blow out a candle from 60 feet away! These pulses had researchers puzzled. Then they realized that the pulses would help male moths locate a female as they were drawn near by the scent of the pheromone. This seems to be confirmed by the fact that the male’s antennae send a signal to its brain that has the same frequency as the female’s pulses.

The creation shows much more than design. Each of the details of the creation have the elegant intricacy of a master Designer. This is, in part, what St. Paul refers to when he writes that the very Godhead of the Creator can be seen in the creation.

Father in heaven, I admire and thank You for the excellence of Your workmanship in the creation. As I do my daily tasks, help me to take care to put the best workmanship into my work so that You will be glorified in everything I do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

“Smoke Puffs for Sexual Communication.” Science News, June 23, 1984, p. 393. Photo: Mating pair of Poplar Hawk-moths.