Meaning of peppered moth in English:

peppered moth


  • A European moth of woods and gardens, which is typically white with black speckling. In industrial areas sooty brown forms predominate as a result of industrial melanism.

    Biston betularia, family Geometridae

    ‘Industrial melanism in peppered moths has been a worldwide textbook example of natural selection.’
    • ‘Industrial melanism in peppered moths has been studied most intensively in Britain.’
    • ‘For most of the twentieth century the only well-known example of evolution in action was the case of peppered moths in industrial England.’
    • ‘A recent example of this can be seen in colour changes in the British peppered moth, which is nocturnal, resting during the day on surfaces such as tree trunks.’
    • ‘The ‘classic’ textbook example of natural selection says that most peppered moths were light-coloured in the early 1800s.’