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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CB601.1:

Peppered moths do not normally rest on tree trunks. In decades of field work, only one peppered moth was found resting on a tree trunk in the wild. Kettlewell released his moths near the ground in the morning, which would have caused the moths to land on the trunks unnaturally. Pictures showing moths on trunks were staged. This invalidates the research that was based on the assumption that they normally rested on trunks.


Wells, Jonathan, 1999. Second thoughts on peppered moths. or
Wells, Jonathan, 2000. Icons of Evolution. Washington DC: Regnery, pp. 148-151.


  1. Peppered moths do not rest exclusively on tree trunks, but they do rest there. Of the forty-seven moths one researcher found in the wild, twelve were on trunks and twenty were on trunk/branch joints. (The other fifteen were on branches). The numbers and proportion on trunks near light traps were even higher (Majerus 1998, 123). Wells's claim that the moths do not naturally land on trunks is simply a falsehood.

  2. Branches provide a background similar to trunks. Photos showing moths on trunks were staged but only for purposes of illustration. The photographs depict what is found in the wild, whether trunk or branch. Furthermore, the photos played no part in the scientific research or its conclusions.


  1. Majerus, Michael E. N., 1998. Melanism: Evolution in action, Oxford University Press.

Further Reading:

Frack, Don. 1999. Peppered moths, round 2. , , ,

Grant, Bruce S., 1999. Fine tuning the peppered moth paradigm. Evolution 53(3): 980-984.
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created 2001-2-17, modified 2004-3-5