Lunar Periodicity of Insect Flight and Migration

  • W. Danthanarayana
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


The desirability of studying lunar periodicity of insect flight was first pointed out by Hora (1927). Hartland-Row (1955) and Corbet (1958) provided experimental evidence in support of this phenomenon. They found that some Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, and Diptera (Chironomidae) showed periodic fluctuations in numbers caught in light traps, and that this correlated closely with the age of the moon. The species differed in the position of their peak abundance in the lunar cycle and in the amplitude of the fluctuations. Peaks occurred 2–5 or 23–26 days before or after new moon or within 5 days of full moon (moon age 9–19 days) (Fig. la, b). The occurrences of peaks and troughs relative to full moon and new moon were attributed to a lunar rhythm of emergence.


Lunar Surface Light Trap Full Moon Flight Activity Flight Speed 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Danthanarayana
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyThe University of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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