The festival of lights, “Diwali”, commemorate the coming of good fortune to homes and the celebration happens with bangs of fire crackers, good food and numerous verities of lights.
The Diwali of 2022 is of importance due to the imposed Covid restrictions in the past two years and people wanted to celebrate this time with lots of fun fare mostly focusing on the lights as fire crackers emanate pollution.
Bright LED lights with the option of various colors hit the market, equally responded by the consumers in their home decoration ideas.
Celebration of Diwali 2022 went well with the human beings but the absentee in this celebration were the positive phototaxis moths and insects that used to have primordial attendance during this season of the year.
Post sun-set winter season used to be synonyms of hovering phototaxis moths around light bulbs both inside house and near the street light posts.
The suspended stream of bugs in a chaotic manner afloat themselves around the light bulb as if to celebrate the presence of light in the midst of night’s darkness.
Their attraction towards light is so strong that they even forget about the source of light and at times get burnt, receives ultimate death due to the fire, being the source of light.
The fatal fascination of moths towards light is potentially an unsolved mystery of nature.
However, some possible explanation of this particular behavior is related to the nocturnal nature of moths.
These tiny creatures use moon or stars to orientate and accordingly adjust their flying track keeping the light source at a constant angle to their eye.
The celestial light source emits parallel ray of lights that help the phototaxis tiny nocturnal creatures to navigate and search for food while avoiding the predators’ claws.
Presence of astronomical light at a particular angel to the eye and its absence create awareness about the possibility of a predator and accordingly they change their direction.
On the contrary to this natural phenomenon, the artificial lights at the light post or in the home radiating lights at all direction confuse these creatures.
Moths constantly turn their wings inward to keep itself at a constant angel to the light and ends up in spiraling ultimately colliding with the lamp and get killed in the process.
The general behavior of moths is that they like to keep lighter sky above themselves as it helps them to find out the possibility of risk.
These traits make them always move in the upward direction and in the case of lamp post, they get into collision and ultimately lose their lives.
The new age LED lights, emitting bright lights rays equally at different directions is all the more confusing and adding to the woos of these nocturnal phototaxis creatures.
The rampant use of flood lights and LED lights generating light pollution in the atmosphere is disorienting these tiny creatures and probably affecting their population.
The light pollution impact on moth population is until now to be picked up the scientists to investigate but as a common man we at the grass root level, can feel their absence in our daily affair.
Moths are an intrinsic part of the ecosystem that we are living in and flourishing.
Their ecosystem services are yet to be fully established to ascertain their significance in human lives. Among some of their roles we know that they help in pollination, an important task for human survival.
The story of outcomes of absence of moths in our life, along with the climate change issues, may impact on many issues unknown today.
In the ongoing COP27 summit being held in Egypt, the UN secretary General appeals all the national leaders to co-operate to reduce all kinds of pollution to control the climate change factors and work in unison towards mitigation.
Climatic conditions are changing at a faster rate and in an unpredictable manner. If the pollutant element would not be checked right now at this point, then the time to heal the wound of Mother Nature would be lost forever.
In this context, the statement of UN Secretary General, “Humanity has a choice, it is either a Climate Solidarity- or a Collective Suicide Pact” must serve as a wakeup call to address these issues.