Attraction of African Armyworm Moths, Spodoptera exempta, to the Full Moon (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Clark, Jack V.
An observation is reported of the attraction of adult Spodoptera exempta (Walker 1856) to moonlight. The observation was made at Vipingo, N of Mombasa (latitude 3° 50 S, longitude 39° 50 E). Insectary reared moths were placed in a large perspex drum (80 cm dia. 40 cm deep), and their distribution throughout the night of 1979-03-13 was photographed at approximately 1 h intervals. A camera was mounted above the drum on a black painted tripod and used to photograph the moths with a pair of electronic flashes positioned one on either side of the drum. The camera was triggered by remote control. For the purpose of statistical analysis the drum was divided into 6 radial sectors and the distribution of the photographed moths compared with a uniform distribution using a ϰ 2 test. On the night of 1979-03-13 the sun set at 18.13 h and the moon rose at 18.02 h. The following morning the moon set at 06.24 h and the sun rose at 06.07 h (all figures local time). The declination of the rising and setting moon was 3° 24 N and 1° 18 N respectively.