New Research Explains Size Difference in Moths:
Image is of an Atlas Moth & Cocoon piece I made and sold a few years back.
Sexual Dimorphism is the term used to describe how one sex differs from the other in a particular animal species. A good example of this in the insect world is how female moths are larger than their male counterparts. Why would large size be a benefit for females? It seems likely that female insects can benefit from larger sizse because that means they are able to lay more eggs and produce more offspring. The tricky question that has, thus far, eluded scientists is: How do female moths grow larger than the males, given that they have the exact same genetic configuration for growth? Scientists have recently "thought outside the box" on this issue by studying the larvae (caterpillars) instead of the adult moth, and have come up with a simple solution: Female caterpillars spin their cocoons later than the males, so they have more time as caterpillars to keep eating and thus, grow larger than the male caterpillars, who are more in a hurry to metamorphosize.
Read the whole story here in an article published by the University of Arizona.