Friday, November 16, 2018

Linden Looper Moth

Linden Loopers are a fall moth in the Geometridae, or Inchworm family.

Linden Loopers are adapted for remaining active in colder weather, when most other insects are inactive.  In one study (cited below) of another cold-adapted Geometrid moth, the Winter Moth, Operophtera brumata,  it was noted that the flight muscles operate at lower temperatures and that they have a higher flight muscle to body mass ratio than a warm-adapted moth.

The female Linden Looper Moths are flightless, which is the case for a number of cold weather Geometrids.  By losing the ability to fly, they have more energy to devote to egg production.

Even with these adaptation, being an insect active in the cold is a physiological challenge.  The advantage is that there are fewer insect predators present in the colder months of fall

Marden, James H. 1995. Evolutionary Adaptation of Contractile Performance in Muscle of Ectothermic Winter-Flying Moths.  The Journal of Experimental Biology.  198, 2087 - 2094.