Hagen reports further that Kettlewell himself added to the controversies through his defense to these criticisms, sidelining his own singular achievements in these first attempts at understanding survival patterns in the peppered moths. This summary endorses his views tentatively and sets out to describe Kettlewell's experiments in the most likely manner.
The papered moth (Biston betularia) is almost a mythical creature in evolutionary biology today because it helped practitioners solve an important mystery in evolution. The moth, an endemic species to Great Britain and other parts of Europe, is known to have existed in three broad phenotypes. Before the industrial revolution of the 19th century the moth, popularly ascribed later as the typical phenotype, had grayish white wings flecked with small dark spots (Hagen, 1999, p. 144). Later on, with the growth of industry and increasing pollution, especially the aerial variety from coal dust in flues, in the surrounding areas this light-winged typical variety became less and less evident and moths with darker wing colors became more manifest. ...Show more