Trivia

Hard

The Cinnabar Moth Has Been Actively Introduced To Regions As A Tool For Controlling?

Ragwort
Tent Caterpillars
Bed Bugs
Kudzu Vines
A Cinnabar Moth with its wings spread out.
Charles J. Sharp/Wikimedia

Answer: Ragwort

The case of the cinnabar moth in North America is a curious one in two ways. First, the moths and their larvae—unlike many of their cousins—aren’t destructive to things like fabrics or crops and are, in fact, actively sought out. Second, though it’s not native to North America, you can hardly call it an invasive species because farmers and municipalities have actively courted the fiery-colored little moths by releasing thousands upon thousands of adults.

Why import a moth species? Cinnabar moth larvae love ragwort. In fact, ragwort is one of only two plants (the other being groundsel) the larvae feed on. Female moths lay their eggs in batches of 30 to 60 on the underside of ragwort leaves and, when the eggs hatch, the resulting caterpillars devour the host plant in a quest to gather the poisonous alkaloids in the plant to make themselves entirely unpalatable to predators.

The life cycle of the moths then, has the direct benefit of removing ragwort from grazing lands where it would otherwise serve as a tasty and colorful, yet deadly treat for cattle, horses, and other grazing livestock.

The best part about using the cinnabar moths for ragwort control is that the moths depend entirely upon the ragwort for survival. Eventually, should the moths be successful at entirely eradicating the ragwort, they’ll have eaten themselves right out of a home. With this neat, albeit fatal end game, we won’t have to later import a creature that loves eating cinnabar moths in some sort of ecological arms race.

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Fresh Water Lake In The World Is Located in?

Trivia

Hard

The First Game Console To Feature A Built-In Hard Drive Was The?

Trivia

Hard

What Camouflage Technique Did Fighter Jet Designers Adopt From Nature?

Trivia

Hard

The Square Of Cloth Found On The Headrests Of Many Airplane and Train Seats Is Called?

Trivia

Hard

Auto-Tune, A Widely Used Music Processor, Was Originally Created For What Purpose?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Film Directors Planted 500 Acres Of Corn To Avoid Using CGI?

Trivia

Hard

What Popular Commodore 64 Game Spawned a Successful Television Series?

Trivia

Easy

Which Simpsons Character Was Originally Intended As Homer’s Secret Identity?

Trivia

Very Hard

A “Poka-Yoke” Is A Design Feature Intended To Stop The User From?

Trivia

Hard

Which North American Animal Helps, Indirectly, Protect People From Lyme Disease?