Experiments on resting site selection by nocturnal moths



When different species of moths are presented with a choice between black and white resting backgrounds, there is a strong correlation between the colour selected and the reflectance of the forewings. Under more natural conditions, light-coloured moths usually rest on fresh vegetation whilst dark-winged species select tree bark or rest upon the ground, and different defensive strategies appear to have been adopted by species in these two latter situations. Studies on the mechanism of background selection, and on background selection in polymorphic species, are reviewed.