peppered moths

Sneak peek at my piece for BeinArt Gallery on Jan. 14th! It is a very Audubon inspired piece and my first piece using predominately watercolor instead of ink. I can’t wait to show you all the pieces I have been working on for January!

A Heliconius erato demophoon butterfly feeds on a flower in this photo released on June 1st 2016. 
A gene responsible for the colours and colour patterns on the wings of butterflies and moths has been independently identified in two separate studies published in this weeks ‘Nature’. This gene, and a mutation associated with it, controlled the darkening of the peppered moth that took place during the Industrial Revolution, and the gene is also responsible for the natural colour pattern variation in certain butterfly species. Credit: AFP/Nature/Dept. of Animal and Plant Sciences/University of Sheffield/Nicola Nadeau

Random Fact #341

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution does not state that the strongest survive. 

“Survival of the fittest” means “survival of whoever is best adapted to that environment”. 

That means anything from having slightly better camouflage to jumping higher or being the first one to hide at the sign of danger.

A good example of this is the peppered moths in England during the industrial revolution:

Trees that are naturally light became dark from soot, so the white peppered moth population (which had thus far been very successful) declined sharply in areas that had factories that burned coal, while the black peppered moths (which were relatively rare) became the more successful of the two.

This adaptability to different environments is is one of the possible ways a species can break off into two different species (if given enough millions of years to adapt, of course).

The moth’s shown above are two different kinds of Peppered Moths. Before the industrial evolution in England the black moth was rare, and the white moth (circled on the left) thrived with it’s better camouflage. After the industrial revolution covered much of the country side in soot, the black moths began to thrive, and the white moth’s became rare. 

This is a prime example of natural selection, as well as evolution. The moth’s that are better able to camouflage are the ones that thrive. 

August - Andrew Young

The cows stood in a thunder-cloud of flies
As, lagging through the field with trailing feet,
I kicked up scores of skipper butterflies
That hopped a little way, lazy with heat.

The wood I sought was in deep shelter sunk,
Though clematis leaves shone with a glossy sweat
And creeping over ground and up tree-trunk
The ivy in the sun gleamed bright and wet.

Trees with the soot of August suns were black,
Though splashed in places with a bright fire-light:
I praised the daemon of that dim wood-track
Where pepper moths were flittering by night.

Songs brief as Chinese poems the birds sung;
And insects of all sheens, blue, brown and yellow,
Darted and twisted in their flight and hung
On air that groaned like hoarse sweet violoncello.

No leaf in the least breath of wind was turning,
And foliage hung on trees like heavy wigs;
White suns fringed with long rainbow hairs were burning
Inflammable leaves and the light-blackened twigs.

From that small sun patching the wood with light –
O strange to think – hung all things that have breath,
Trees, insects, cows, even moths that fly by night
And man, and life in every form – and death.

Pep the Cheerful Peppered Moth  

Messed around with Manga studio and managed to do this. The effect was done in photoshop. 

Pep is a cheerful fuzzy moth that enjoys singing, partying, and just about anything with swing music. With a bubbly attitude many other moths enjoy his presence and enjoy the music he sings.