Insects attracted to light

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    • #1295
      Zachthemac
      Participant

      I know this is a pretty basic question, but why are many insects attracted to lights? Also why do cochroaches scatter when a light is turned on when other insects would go towards it?

    • #25654
      Chris4
      Participant

      They use the moon to migrate. thats the basics of it. isn’t it?

    • #25659
      opuntia
      Participant
      quote Zachthemac:

      Also why do cochroaches scatter when a light is turned on when other insects would go towards it?

      It’s cockroaches move away from light because they have negative phototaxis and some insects are attracted to light because they have positive phototaxis 🙂

    • #25665
      James
      Participant

      Insects such as moths are positively phototactic, they move towards light, perhaps for navigation, or a natural reaction to move away from the ground if disturbed, away from ground predation. Also, different organisms are attracted to different light intensities, eg moths are attracted to moonlight, but not sunlight, and opposite for butterflies.

    • #25668
      Chris4
      Participant

      There are some moths which fly in the daytime. Just to confuse things 😆

    • #54805
      Lalalathemonkey
      Participant

      Do centipedes have a negative phototaxis or a positive phototaxis?[/quote]

    • #54818
      kiekyon
      Participant

      not all insects are attracted to light for the simple reason that not all insect have the same vision. the same thing goes for human. basically, our vision allows us to see only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

      for further reading see http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/jan2000/948507632.Zo.r.html

    • #54866
      flint
      Participant

      a lot of insects use the angle of the suns rays for navigation

      because the suns rays are coming from so far away the angle will always remain essentially the same

      however, when a source such as a light bulb is emitting light (especially at night) the insects now orient to the angle of the rays from that light bulb

      because the light build is so small the angle of the rays from the bulb changes as the insect flies around it, thus causing the homing behavior that many insects exhibit towards lightbulbs

    • #55207
      February Beetle
      Participant
      quote kiekyon:

      not all insects are attracted to light for the simple reason that not all insect have the same vision. the same thing goes for human. basically, our vision allows us to see only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

      for further reading see http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/jan2000/948507632.Zo.r.html

      Wouldn’t cockroaches still go away from the light because they don’t like the light, not that they have different vision? Or, is all this behavoir based on the insects vision? I just assumed cockroaches didn’t like being in the light but maybe it is because of their vision, hmmm…

    • #55212
      flint
      Participant

      some insects have a positive phototactic response (towards light) and others have a negative phototactic response (away from light)

      so basically, yes, cockroaches go away from light because they dont like it

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