|Biston betularia betularia morpha typica|
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
The Peppered moth (Biston betularia) is a species of night-flying moth. They are often used by educators as an example of natural selection: they have two forms, one is dark and one is light. The story of their evolution is told on Peppered moth evolution.
The wingspan is 55mm. median (45–62 mm.) It is relatively stout-bodied, with forewings relatively narrow-elongate. The wings are white, "peppered" with black, and with more or less distinct cross lines, also black. The black speckling varies in amount, in some examples it is almost absent, whilst in others it is so dense that the wings appear to be black sprinkled with white. The antennae of males are strongly bipectinate.
Biston betularia is found in China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Henan, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Fujian, Sichuan, Yunnan, Tibet), Russia, Mongolia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Europe and North America.
Images for kids
Biston betularia caterpillars on birch (left) and willow (right), demonstrating twig mimicry and effective countershading.
Peppered moth Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.