The caterpillars of the peppered moth mimic the form and also the colour of the twig they rest on. The Hoax of the Peppered Moth. Click to visit the game page and learn more. One researcher staged photos of the moths on sooty trunks—not where moths … Now peppered moths are back. Moreover, both types existed before the industrial revolution. The peppered moth story only involves small scale change The pale and dark forms of the peppered moth are similar in every way except their superficial colour. The evolution of the peppered moth has been studied in detail over the last 150 years. The two types are both part of the same species, and can interbreed. This is because it is better camouflaged. The scientists found a transposable element, or “jumping gene,” that is present in 105 of the 110 dark-colored moths they studied, but absent from 283 light-colored moths. Changing Colors. As expected, the light peppered moth population has recently been more common in the population. The evolution of the peppered moth is an evolutionary instance of directional colour change in the moth population as a consequence of air pollution during the Industrial Revolution.The frequency of dark-coloured moths increased at that time, an example of industrial melanism.Later, when pollution was reduced, the light-coloured form again predominated. The peppered moth comes in primarily two varieties: typica, a white moth with a sprinkling of black dots (wild type), and carbonaria, almost uniform black moths (mutant). The peppered moth case study described above is an example of directional selection: the frequency of color varieties changes dramatically in one direction or another (lighter or darker) in response to the predominating habitat conditions. So I asked him to explain what he meant by evolution, and he gave me the same old tired explanations—all of which are not true or are misleading. At first, almost all of the moths were light coloured.This gave them camouflage against the light-coloured trees and lichens where they rested during the day. Other investigators discovered that most of the story's facts were essentially wrong. Dr. Kettlewell wanted to know if natural selection was driving the change in moths. Fact and Fiction about the Peppered Moth Jonathan Wells February 23, 2009 The Creative Power of Natural Selection. According to the online critique of Explore Evolution by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE): (A) “Textbooks do not use peppered moths as an example of something new being created, they use it to demonstrate what natural selection can do in mere decades.” In the countryside, where lichens cover the tree trunks, the mottled form dominates. For example, peppered moths live mostly beneath leaves, not on tree trunks. However, later researchers could not replicate the peppered moth results. The peppered moth is one of the most famous examples of evolution in action: in areas with a history of air pollution, such as big cities, where trees and rocks were once covered with soot instead of lichen, the black form of the peppered moth is the most common. Some scientists in England have identified a mutation that may explain why some peppered moths are dark-colored. He said he was not a Christian because he believes in evolution. July 15, 2015 I met a bright young man who just graduated from college on the plane this week. The peppered moth (Biston betularia) is a species of night-flying moth.They are often used by educators as an example of natural selection: see peppered moth evolution..