When Love Is Blind
BY AWAKE! CORRESPONDENT IN SPAIN
IMAGINE searching for a bride if you were very nearsighted and if suitable maidens ventured out only after dark. Such is the plight of the male emperor moth. But this elegant insect has certain attributes that make this formidable challenge less daunting.
During the summer months, our prospective suitor spends his days as a fat caterpillar gorging on all the food he can find. Thus, the following spring, when he emerges from his chrysalis, the resplendent moth has enough food stored to last him his brief lifetime.
With food problems resolved, the emperor moth can concentrate on the task of finding a mate. Nevertheless, if it weren’t for a useful appliance he carries with him, finding a female by the light of the moon would be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack.
Sprouting like delicate ferns from the moth’s diminutive head are two antennas. These tiny fronds may well be the most sophisticated odor-detecting devices on earth. Furthermore, they are fine-tuned to pick up minute traces of a pheromone, or “perfume,” that the female moth obligingly emits.
Although females may be few and far between, their potent pheromone acts like an olfactory lighthouse. So sensitive are the male moth’s antennas that they can detect a female nearly seven miles [11 km] away. Thus all obstacles are finally overcome, and boy moth finally meets his girl counterpart. Love can afford to be blind in the insect world—at least in this case.
God’s creation abounds with such fascinating details and extraordinary design! The psalmist wrote: “How many your works are, O Jehovah! All of them in wisdom you have made.”—Psalm 104:24.
[Picture Credit Line on page 10]
© A. R. Pittaway