A special moth-flower relationship, discovered in arid regions of North America, has inspired the wonder of biologists worldwide. The yucca moth uses some unique tools to help pollinate the yucca plant, which returns the favor by feeding the moth's young.

God provides for his creatures in some amazing ways. One of the most fascinating is the special relationship between the yucca flower and yucca moth. Without one, the other could not survive.

The yucca flower invites a yucca moth (Tegeticula) to dine on its nectar, excluding all others. How does it do this? The pale or white yucca flower fails to attract other insects. As a result the yucca moth does not have much competition for a place to lay its eggs.

To return the “favor,” the yucca moth faithfully gathers and distributes the yucca flower’s pollen. The female yucca moth’s specialized mouth parts allow her to make a pollen ball and then carry it to another suitable flower.

Once she does, she lays her eggs in the ovary. She then instinctively shoves her pollen ball into the stigma tube to ensure the successful development of the yucca seeds, which her offspring will eat once they hatch. No other moths do this.

If too many females lay eggs in the same flower, the flower will die and most of the larvae along with it. So the female moth keeps looking until she finds a flower that has little or no female scent. Then she lays her eggs and pollinates the flower. This remarkable behavior ensures that each flower produces enough seeds for the yucca caterpillars to eat, while leaving enough seeds to produce new plants.

Such a perfect symbiotic relationship is not the result of blind chance. God designed His creatures and plants to be very flexible in a radically changed post-Flood world. The original ancestors of the yucca moth and yucca plant probably didn’t look exactly like they do today. But they had the God-given genetic information to re-establish mutually beneficial relationships after the Flood.

God’s wonderful foresighted design continues to preserve the yucca moths and the yucca plants today. If He cares that much for desert moths and flowers, how much more will He watch over His children? “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things” (Matthew 6:34).

Heather M. Brinson is currently earning dual degrees in English and chemistry from Clemson University. A previously published author, Heather hopes to use her combined abilities in ministry when she graduates.

Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.

Risk-free trial issue!

Risk-free trial issue!

If you decide you want to keep Answers coming, simply pay your invoice for just $24 and receive four issues (a full year) more. If not, write “cancel” across the invoice and return it. The trial issue is yours to keep, regardless!

Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.
New subscribers only. No gift subscriptions.
Offer valid in U.S. only.