Moths, insects of the class Lepidoptera, are mostly active at night and like to gather in bright places, so there is a saying in the folk saying that "moths fly into flames and burn themselves". Plants provide a variety of food sources for moths when they are young. Moth larvae and adults are also one of the main food sources for insectivorous animals such as birds, reptiles, and amphibians, forming an important food chain in nature. Moths can be distinguished based on their antennae—without rod-like ends, they are filamentous or feathery. Most moths are nocturnal and dull in color. Moth is a general term for insects that are closely related to butterflies. Both belong to the order Lepidoptera. Most of them spread their wings on both sides of the body when they are stationary, and have eye-like patterns on their wings that can deter the enemy.
Moths are small to large. Moths are small to large. Adult wings, body and appendages are covered with scales, mouthparts are siphonic or degenerated. Beetle-shaped larvae, chewing mouthparts, densely distributed bristles or tufts, tufts, thorns, etc. on the body, with 2 to 5 pairs of gastropods, mostly 5 pairs, with toe hooks, and many can spin silk knots Cocooning or netting. The pupa is the pupa. Eggs are mostly round, hemispherical or oblate.
Slightly spherical or hemispherical. The antennae are multi-segmented, filamentous, rod-shaped, comb-toothed (pinnate), etc. Male antennae are often more developed than females. Most of the mouthparts are typical siphon-type mouthparts, except for a few lower moths, such as the small-winged moth, which retain the upper and lower jaws. That is, the upper jaw is completely degenerated, the upper lip is short, the lower jaw whiskers are developed or degenerated, and the lower lip only retains the lower lip whiskers of 3 segments. Reaching into the flower when eating, sucking nectar. The compound eyes are well developed, usually 2 monocular, located behind the compound eye, but there are also some species (butterfly, foot moth, etc.) without monocular.
The chest is well developed and the thoracic segments tend to heal. The prothorax is more developed in lower moths, while higher moths are generally more degenerate, neck-shaped, with small protrusions on both sides, called wings (or collar). The mid-thorax is very large, with scutellum and small scutellum, and there is a pair of developed shoulder plates (or shoulder plates) on both sides in front of the scutellum. The back of the thorax is small. The feet are slender, with a tibial process (angular device) usually on the medial border of the tibia of the forefoot, and the middle and end of the tibia of the middle and hind feet, respectively. The tarsus has 5 segments, with the first segment being the longest, with 1 pair of claws.
Generally have 2 pairs of wings, developed, only a few species of females have no wings or only reduced wings. Wings membranous, covered with scaly hairs and scales. Many moths have various lines and stripes formed by various colored scales on the wing surface, which are mostly named according to their shape or location.
The venation sequence of lepidopteran insects is very close to the hypothetical venation sequence, and its structure and main changes are characterized by: the base of the midrib (M) degenerates or disappears, and a large wing chamber (ie, the middle chamber) is formed. Forewings usually have 12 to 14 longitudinal veins. The leading edge vein (C) merges with the leading edge; the sub-leading edge vein (Sc) arises from the base of the upper wing of the middle chamber without branching; the radial vein (R) arises from the anterior edge of the middle chamber and generally divides into 5 branches, or decreases or merges There are generally 3 branches of the central meridian (M), all from the end of the middle chamber, M1 at the upper corner of the middle chamber, M3 at the lower corner of the middle chamber, and M2 in between; 2 branches of the cubital meridian (Cu), from the middle Posterior margin of chamber; gluteal vein (A) extends from wing base below middle chamber, 1 to 3. There are few transverse veins, except for the end of the middle chamber, there is usually a shoulder transverse vein between the base of the subleading vein and the base of the leading edge of the wing.
In addition to the central chamber, some species also have a closed chamber above the central chamber, which is formed by the parallel connection of the radial veins and the radial veins, which is called the auxiliary chamber or the small wing chamber (such as the saccade). The hind wings generally have 8 to 10 longitudinal veins. The sub-leading veins and the first radial veins are combined into Sc + Rl. The radial veins (Rs) do not branch. The distribution of other wing veins is basically the same as that of the forewing. There are three common types of contact between lepidoptera and hind wings during flight, namely, the wing chain linkage of some lower moths (such as some species of bat moths), the wing and rein linkage of most moths, and the butterfly chain. A class of sticky chains.
The abdomen is cylindrical or spindle-shaped, with 10 segments, the first segment is degenerated, and the web is absent or only membranous. There are 7 segments in the abdomen of the female, the 7th segment is obviously extended, the 8th to 10th segment is significantly thinner, and the sleeve is retracted into the 7th segment, which can be extended when laying eggs, forming a pseudo-ovipositor. Some lower moths only have a genital hole in the ninth abdominal segment, which is called a monotreme; most species have a mating hole in the eighth abdominal segment and an egg-laying hole in the ninth abdominal segment, which is called a doublet. There are a pair of petal-like structures on both sides of the ovipositor, called anal papillae, which are used to hold the produced eggs and make the eggs stick to objects.
There are 8 segments in the abdomen of males, and the appendages of segments 9-10 evolve into external genitalia. The dorsal plate (back pocket) and the web (basal ventral arc) of the ninth abdominal segment form a ring, and the middle of the web extends into the body into a sac-shaped protrusion; the rear end of the tenth dorsal plate forms a slightly downwardly curved The uncinate process, with a pair of jaw-shaped processes below, usually merged into one, is the web of the 10th abdominal segment, slightly curved upwards, and the anal end is located between the uncinate process and the jaw-shaped process.
The penis occurs on the septum between the dorsal pocket and the base-ventral arc, and the base forms two everted conical protrusions, called the male end ring, on which there are bone fragments, called the male end base ring. The end of the penis can be retracted, called the terminal membrane, and there are often spines on it. The genital limbs of the ninth abdominal segment evolved into a pair of large petals, called clasps, on which various spines, hairs, and bone fragments grew. Male external genitalia are widely differentiated among species and are often used as an important basis for species identification.
Most species have a lower-mouthed head, and a few species (such as leaf miners, etc.) are anterior-mouthed, usually with a hardened and dark-colored head shell. There is an inverted "Y"-shaped molting line in front of the head, which is where the larvae first split when they peel off. The two narrow bony pieces on the inner side of the ecdysis line are the forehead (some people call it the frontal piece), and below the forehead is the triangular base of the lip (some people call it the frontal piece). The cranial area is on both sides of the ecdysis line, and there are 6 lateral unicorns arranged in an arc near the lower part. Mouthparts are chewing, and there is a deep notch on the front edge of the upper lip. The shape and depth of the notch are different, which is one of the characteristics of the branch. The upper jaw is developed and toothed, the lower jaw, lower lip and tongue form a complex, the tongue is located in the center to form a spinneret, and there are 2-segmented mandibular whiskers on both sides.
The segmentation is obvious, and an ossified plate is formed near the back of the prothorax, called the prothoracic shield. There are 1 valve on each side of the front chest, behind and below. The thoracic foot is usually developed, with 5 segments, with a curved claw at the end, and the thoracic foot is degenerated or disappeared to varying degrees in some species damaged by the leaf-miner.
Usually 10 segments, the back of the distal segment is ossified to form the gluteal plate, and some species have a hardened comb-like structure under the gluteal plate, called the gluteal comb, which is used to bounce the excretory fecal particles. There are generally 8 pairs of abdominal stomata, located on both sides of the 1st to 8th abdominal segments. There are usually 5 pairs of gastropods, which are attached to the 3rd to 6th abdominal segments and the 10th abdominal segment, and the one on the 10th abdominal segment is also called the tail foot or the buttock foot. The gastropods are sometimes reduced or degenerated, such as only 2 pairs of gastropods, which are born on the 6th and 10th abdominal segments, respectively. Minor moths degenerated or disappeared completely, and the first or first and second pair of legs of some noctuid species also degenerated. The structure of the gastropod is relatively simple, consisting of a subunit segment, a basal segment, and a retractable sac-like toe, with a toe hook on the ventral surface of the toe. The existence of toe hooks is one of the important basis for distinguishing lepidopteran larvae from other polypodial larvae, and the number, length and arrangement of toe hooks are one of the distinguishing characteristics of lepidopteran larvae classification.
The arrangement of toe hooks is divided into single row, double row and multi-row. According to the length of the toe hook, it can be divided into single sequence, double sequence or 3 sequence; according to the shape of the toe hook arrangement, it can be divided into ring (round or oval whole ring), missing ring (less than a whole circle) And there is a small gap), pseudo-ring (there are gaps in the front and rear, also called two longitudinal bands), middle band (there is only a row of arc-shaped toe hooks on the inside and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the body), two horizontal bands (with the longitudinal axis of the body) vertical two rows of toe hooks) and so on.
Stripes, lines, and tufts
The carcass (thorax and abdomen) of Lepidoptera larvae often have obvious patterns or vertical stripes, which are mostly named according to their location. Some lines can be used as auxiliary features for species identification. The body parts of the larvae often have a variety of outer coverings, such as setae, hair tumors, hair clusters, hair processes and thorns. There are bristles on the tumor-like protrusions on the body surface, which are called pilomas; the bases of the bristles often have ossified and dark areas, which are called hair flakes; the hair flakes, such as high protrusions and cone-shaped, are called hair processes; hairs are long and densely clustered or In clusters, called tufts or clusters; some species have thorns, and those with branches on the thorns are called thorns.
Setae can be divided into primary setae, sub-primary setae and secondary setae three categories. The primary bristles appear at the first instar, and the sub-primitive bristles appear in the second instar. The distribution and location of these two types of bristles are relatively fixed, and are given special names, called trichomes. Hair order is one of the important features of larval taxonomy. The number of secondary bristles is large, but there is no fixed position, and the length varies.
The pupa is mostly oblong, brown or brown. The pupae of butterflies are mostly light-colored, and the head and thorax are often protruding. The pupa body can be clearly divided into three parts: head, thorax and abdomen. The compound eyes are located on both sides of the head, and the base of the antennae is located outside the compound eyes. The lower lip must be flanked by a pair of external mandibular lobes (beak canals), whose lengths vary from species to species. The mandibular whiskers are located outside the compound eyes and are generally not exposed. The thorax is clearly segmented in dorsal view, usually the largest in the midthorax. The forefoot is on either side of the lower jaw, the midfoot is on the outside of the forefoot, and the hindfoot is usually only the end exposed.
Forewing buds may cover or exceed the 4th abdominal segment on the ventral surface, hind wing buds are generally covered by forewing buds, only the edges are exposed. The thorax has 1 pair of spiracles, which are located on the dorsal side of the anterior and midthorax. There are 10 abdominal segments, usually only the 5th, 6th and 7th segments can be moved, and the 8th to 10th segments are often healed. The longitudinal fissure in the center of the ventral surface of the 10th abdominal segment is the anus, which is often slightly protruding around it. There is a genital hole in the center of the ninth abdominal segment of males, which is a longitudinal slit, and the periphery is often slightly protruding. Diploid females have two reproductive holes, located in the center of the 8th and 9th abdominal segments, the former is the mating hole and the latter is the egg-laying hole.
In many species, the two holes are connected to form a longitudinal crack. According to this, the male and female pupae can be identified. The abdomen has 8 pairs of stomata, located on the 1st to 8th abdominal segments, but the stomata of the first abdominal segment are covered by wing buds, and the stomata of the 8th abdominal segment degenerates and is slit-like. The end of the abdomen protrudes backward to form the gluteal spine, with barbs on it, which are used to hook objects or cocoons, etc.
Because moths like light very much, they tend to gather around the light, and there is no obvious specific population distribution.
The growth period (life cycle) of moths is divided into four developmental stages: egg stage, larval stage, pupa stage, and adult stage.
The first stage of insect ontogeny. After the insect's egg is fertilized (and sometimes infertile), the embryo inside the egg begins to develop. The eggs mature into larvae. The process by which the larvae emerge from the egg is called hatching. The time from laying to hatching is called egg stage.
The second stage of insect development. The process from egg hatching to larvae pupation. In the type of incomplete metamorphosis, larvae are also called nymphs and larvae. They do not have the developmental stage of pupa, and develop directly from larvae to adults; fully metamorphic larvae pupate when they are mature. The larval stage of insects is the fastest growing stage of insects, and some moth larvae increase their body weight by ten thousand times from hatching to mature pupation.
The third stage in the development of fully metamorphic insects. is the stage in which insects transition from larva to adult. When the larva matures, the body shortens, does not eat and does not move, and the appearance gradually thickens to pupate. Some larvae have a shorter prepupal stage before pupating. Some larvae spin silk as cocoons or pupa chambers for protection before pupation. The pupa matures, that is, emerges into an adult.
The final stage of insect development. Sexually mature, capable of mating and laying eggs, but some adults require supplemental nutrition before mating and laying eggs
Among insects, moths are the sisters of butterflies and belong to the order Lepidoptera, the suborder Heterophyte. Moths aren't as pretty as butterflies, but they reproduce in much the same way.
There is a special chemical substance that grows on the female moth body, that is, sex pheromone. Through the diffusion of sex hormones, male moths are attracted from distant places to mate. Although the amount of pheromones secreted is very small, it has a great effect.
It is said that a single female gypsy moth can attract 1 million male moths by secreting only 0.1 micrograms of sexual pheromones. The olfactory organs of male moths are particularly developed, and their antennae are often feather-like or comb-like, so that they are very sensitive to the sexual pheromones released by female moths, and can almost perceive only a few molecules of information. Some people did experiments with gypsy moths. When the wind speed was 100 centimeters per second, the male moth still responded to the female moth pheromone at a distance of 4.5 kilometers, but this response was lost after the antennae were removed.
The way moths use their scent to find a mate is called "chemical communication" in biology. Moths are completely metamorphic insects that go through four developmental stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Larvae are completely different from adults in morphological structure and living habits.
Except for a few species of adult insects sucking fruit juice, most adult insects do not harm crops, while most larvae harm crops, fruit trees and forest trees. Therefore, people have used the "chemical communication" characteristics of moths to isolate and measure the structure of many moth pests' sex pheromones, and artificially synthesize them to trap and kill male moths to achieve the purpose of biological control.
Black tallow silkworm moth
This moth has a wingspan of 250 mm, prominent front wing apex, reddish-brown body wings, white inner and outer lines of the front and hind wings; the inner and outer sides of the inner and outer lines have purple-red borders and tan lines, with pink interspersed in the middle. and white scales; large triangular transparent spot at the end of the middle chamber; outer edge is yellowish brown with finer black wavy lines; apex angle is pink, with a half-moon-shaped black spot on the inner side near the front edge, and the lower part is khaki and interspersed There are purple-red vertical stripes, and the black spots and the purple stripes are connected by jagged white stripes. The inner side of the hind wings is brown-black, the outer edge is yellow-brown with black corrugated end lines, the inner side has a yellow-brown spot, and there is a reddish-brown spot in the middle.
The tallow silkworm moth is now distributed in Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Taiwan, India, Myanmar, and Indonesia in China. Wingspan 180 mm - 210 mm.
Two generations occur every year in Jiangxi and Fujian. The adults appear between April and May, July and August, and spend the winter as pupae attached to the cocoons on the host. The adults lay eggs on the trunk, branches or leaves, sometimes in piles, arranged regularly. The black tallow silkworm moth found in the field has a wingspan of 250 mm, which is the largest moth in China.
Green-spotted inchworm moth
Moth family. Adults have several large dark green patches on the base and midline of the forewings, and there are four small green patches on the forewing end line near the anterior edge. Adults mainly appear in June to July and September to November, and are distributed in Fuxing Township, Taoyuan County, Huisun Forest Farm in Nantou County, Lanyu, Taitung County and other places.
Middle-banded white moss moth
Moth family. There is a black horizontal band in the center of the white table of the adult forewings. The outer center of the band is slightly convex for female moths, while male moths are obviously convex. Adults mainly appear in May to June, August, October to November, and may have three generations a year; they are distributed in Wulai, Beiheng Highway, Meifeng, Luoshao, Tengzhi and other middle and low altitude mountainous areas.
Butternut Leopard Moth
Tumoridae. The adult forewings are light yellow-brown, covered with irregular white spots, and black spots of different sizes are arranged on the outer edge. Adults are active in summer and are distributed in mid-altitude mountainous areas such as Luoshao and Ci'en.
Noctuidae. The adult forewing mimics dead leaves, the black outer edge of the hindwing has an orange-yellow band, and there is a blue S-shaped pattern in the center of the black area. The main seasons for adults are spring, summer and early autumn. Distributed in Tianxiang, Ci'en, Qingshan, Wutai, Fujie and other mid-bottom altitude mountains
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