Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Westerman, Erica

Committee Member/Reader

Joshi, Neelendra

Committee Member/Second Reader

Douglas, Michael

Committee Member/Third Reader

Churchill, Hugh


The importance of insect-mediated agriculture cannot be understated especially in the wake of pollinator population declines. Most research of insect-mediated pollination is focused on diurnal pollinators like the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Deepening our understanding of how other pollinators, such as nocturnal pollinators, can benefit agriculture and ecosystems will be very important as honeybee populations decline. I explored nocturnal moth interactions with flowering apple flowers during their pollination season to better understand how these nocturnal pollinators interact with the plants. To accomplish this, I used a University of Arkansas farm area with a dedicated apple orchard. I gathered my raw data in Spring 2021 by setting up night vision cameras to record apple trees that had many flowering flowers over a period of 8 nights. I used the computer program DeepMeerkat, a motion detection AI, to process the video footage to discern the quantity, size and the family of the moths that visited the flowers. Depending on the time of day, I found that moth visitation was impacted by size, visit time to flower, amount of daylight, and length of visit. There were no significant differences between time of day and number of flowers visited. This research improves our understanding of plant-pollinator interactions and apple production, which is one of the most harvested fruits in the world.


Moths, nocturnal moth pollination, apple flowers, conservation