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Study in UK shows that moths are better pollinators than bees

 
gardener
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I've just read an interesting new study on the day- and night-flying pollinators (bees and moths, for the most part) and how many flowers they each visit. Surprisingly, it seems that moths visit more flowers per hour on average and, so the study concludes, are more efficient pollinators. It also mentions how good they are as bat and bird food!

There is a lot of conversation about bee-friendly gardens and creating habitat for day-flying pollinators. I wonder if research such as this will prompt us to think about moths and other night-flying pollinators too.

Study on Phys.org
 
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How interesting!

So how can us average people figure out how to support moths? And how to attract them to the garden? Does it give some of that info in the study? I will try to read it later.
 
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I have looked into moon gardens for moths before. They're designed with lots of white flowers so at night they shine a little in the moonlight to attract moths. So that might be worth looking into, i don't know much about it but it was interesting!
 
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Welcome to Permies, Carolynn!
 
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My son and I are "bugs people". We stay out late and watch moths (among other insects). The one that we ever saw landing on flowers  were hummingbird moths. Huge moths on our white Datura plant. Just like the hummingbirds,  we hear them before we see them. Spectacular site!  
 
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I love watching the hummingbird moths so I can understand them being good pollinators.
 
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I've heard that white flowers, especially those that open up in the afternoon/evening and only get fragrant then, and into the night, do so because they attract moths and other night-owl (so to speak) pollinators.

So incorporating some into "moon gardens" will help.  They are white so they are the most visible at night (when colors are hard to distinguish, unlike for day-roaming pollinators.)

In my area, dragonfruit, and its cousing, night-blooming cereus, angel's trumpet (Brugmansia), and moonflowers fit the bill.  I'm sure there are many more.

Anyone have other examples?
 
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I've heard that moths also react more to scent than vision. Which makes sense if they hunt in the dark. Having lots of food plants for the larvae (and not squishing them all) will help support a good population too
 
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Ela La Salle wrote:My son and I are "bugs people". We stay out late and watch moths (among other insects). The one that we ever saw landing on flowers  were hummingbird moths. Huge moths on our white Datura plant. Just like the hummingbirds,  we hear them before we see them. Spectacular site!  



As "bug people " you should know that the "humming bird moths" are hornworms found most typically on your tomatoes and peppers.  And that they overwinter in chrysalis underground.

So don't kill all those big green caterpillars on your tomatoes! Plant more tomatoes!!
 
Ela La Salle
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Deedee Dezso wrote:

Ela La Salle wrote:My son and I are "bugs people". We stay out late and watch moths (among other insects). The one that we ever saw landing on flowers  were hummingbird moths. Huge moths on our white Datura plant. Just like the hummingbirds,  we hear them before we see them. Spectacular site!  



As "bug people " you should know that the "humming bird moths" are hornworms found most typically on your tomatoes and peppers.  And that they overwinter in chrysalis underground.

So don't kill all those big green caterpillars on your tomatoes! Plant more tomatoes!!



We don't kill anything with the exception of house flies and mosquitoes (manually). We don't use any sprays (indoor or outdoor).  Any caterpillar, crawler, critter, etc . is ignored, moved, or relocated in safe manner.  
I grow lots of perennials, some vegetables and fruiting bushes,  to feed whatever thing wants to feed on. Our back yard is connected to crown land which we respect and anything that lives there
 
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This study makes me think about how much we don't know.  We are probably best off planting a diverse variety of veggies, fruit, herb, and flowers, and leave the critters to do what they do. I don't want to tempt fate, but this is working for me. Bees, moths, butterflies, wasps, I don't know who's doing what, but I'm happy they are doing what they do.
 
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