SUBJECT :For the first time in the city, Karnataka Ecooturism Development Board (KEDB) is organising a Moth Festival to mark the national Moth Week celebrated globally in the last week of July. 

The Moon-bean moth (L) The Parotise species moth and (R) Beet worm moth

July 10, 2019: For the first time in the city, Karnataka Ecotourism Development Board (KEDB) is organising a Moth Festival to mark the national Moth Week celebrated globally in the last week of July. BR Ramesh from KEDB says, “The main aim of the festival is to urge research to study moth species as unlike butterfly species, moths are found in large number in Karnataka. Experts have also been arranged for a lecture to explain to people about the importance of months and where to find them. We plan to make it annual affairs if we get good response.” Experts say that there are more than 60 species of moths in Bengaluru.

Haneesh KM, member of Banglore Butterfly Club and one of the speakers in the festival says, “Moths are found at place with good vegetation and gardens. Bengaluru  has a large number of moths but there have not been many research to assess their species or numbers. This festival will help people understand their importance. Some of the commonly found moth species in Bengaluru are the Common Emerald, Oleandro Hawk and Handmaiden moth. Moths are usually found at night, attracted to bring lights.”

Rachit Pratap Singh, moth expert and another speaker at the festival says, “ Though usually moths are seen at night around bright lights, one can also see them during the day and mistake them as butterflies. Moths are usually seen during pre-monsoon and post monsoon periods and are in large number in the North-Eastern part of the country. Since Karnataka too has a good green cover, especially in the Western Ghats, a large number of moth species are present here but unfortunately there has been no research on this matter. They are of ecological value  as they help in seed dispersal and pollination. According to my estimation, there are more than 400 moth species in Agumbe Ghat, Coorg among other places in Karnataka.”

Experts say that the lifespan of moths range from 2 weeks to two years, depending on their species. During the festival, a white sheet will be put along with a 400 watt bulb to attract moths and will be on display for the public. The Ecotourism board will also be distributing calendars with 30 moth species found in Karnataka, along with their pictures.

In 2018 too, the forest department had conducted a moth festival but on a low key level. This year, the Ecotourism development Board was roped in and the forest department decided to make it bigger. Around 50 people can register to participate in the moth festival through festival will be held at Institute of Wood Science and Technology at Sankey Road, Malleswaram on July 16th from 5 pm to 11 pm.