Noctuid Moths

Remarkable Success of Noctuid Moths Amidst Climate Change: Swedish Study Reveals Surprising Trends

A fascinating study led by researchers Betzholtz, P.-E.; Forsman, A.; and Franzén, M. from Linnaeus University, has unveiled astonishing trends in population dynamics, activity patterns, and spatial distribution of two noctuid moth species, The White-point, Mythimna albipuncta and The Vine’s rustic, Hoplodrina ambigua. Conducted over 20 years (2004–2023), this research highlights the extraordinary ability of these species to cope with environmental and climatic changes.

The study, published under the title "Increased Abundance Coincides with Range Expansions and Phenology Shifts: A Long-Term Case Study of Two Noctuid Moths in Sweden," presents compelling evidence of not only significant population growth but also notable range expansions and shifts in phenology.

Data collected from three light-trap sites in southeastern Sweden and integrated with citizen science data points to an extraordinary expansion in the distribution area, increased population abundance, and extended activity periods by over 100 days in both species. Integral to the study is the inclusion of 2023 data showing these species to be among the most abundant moth species of all in 2023, with a continued observed exponential growth in abundance and distribution across Sweden.

While global warming and environmental changes have undoubtedly led to the decline of many species, this research provides a contrasting exception and perspective, demonstrating that certain species can thrive and prosper in a changing world. The findings underscore the importance of continued monitoring and study of insect populations, offering critical insights into species redistributions, ecosystem dynamics and biodiversity conservation.

Read the entire publication via this link.