I hope this question doesn't go beyond your area of expertise, but I'm trying to research the effects of road traffic on insects. My question fundamentally is whether an insect colliding with a cyclist moving at 15-25 mph will be any more likely to survive than in a collision with a car or train? Also do you know if vehicles moving at higher speeds are actually less likely to kill an insect due to the increased "bow wave" that would deflect insects before impact, particularly larger insects such as butterflies?
Answer Hey Tim,
These are great speculations for a experiment! You could map out a part of a interstate or highway and take not of the activity, then the average bug found dead. The only bad part is this is nearly impossible to do so. I know from my collegiate running days that no many bugs survived running in us going around 8-12 miles an hour. The force needed to kill or knock out a insect doesn't have to be high. Butterflies are also very fragile, and any damage to the wings would eventually result in death from the incident or from predators.
I know this wasn't the answer you wanted but it is a very specific and hard to map hypothesis!
Thank you for the stimulating question.
If we can break it down further I would be happy to help you!