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Hangin' With the Luna Moth

Updated on April 10, 2015
Sylvestermouse profile image

I love all animals, domestic & wild. I have studied many species and find each & every one fascinating. We support shelters & pet adoption

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Can You Find the Luna Moth?

I had never seen a Luna Moth before my son pointed one out to me. That was one of the moments when it has become clear that I missed out on a lot in high school. My son's favorite class was AP Biology and almost daily he would come home with a new story. Can you believe they even had a pet snake in class? And he touched it? Ugh!!!!

He has always been an avid "bug" watcher, not a collector mind you, that would require killing the bugs. No, he likes to watch them live and study them up close. He has taught me so much about insects and animals and I must say that what I used to totally ignore, I now find fascinating. He really is like a walking encyclopedia!

When we go to the zoo, we never run from animal to animal screeching. No, we stop at every enclosure and watch. "Watch what?" you ask. Well, that's just it. We just observe every detail, every movement, every stripe variation. We can easily spend an hour in the Herpetarium. So many frogs, so little time!

Several years ago, we made a trip to the zoo just to see the new Butterfly House. We crept thought it inch by inch discovering dozens of beautiful butterflies.

And that's where it happened! He spotted the elusive Luna Moth. How he saw him among all the leaves, I will never know, but you would have thought he had just been named a multi-million dollar lottery winner. He didn't make a sound, he just stared, unblinking while I saw nothing but leaves. I followed my son's eyes and finally, there, I saw the weird shaped "leaf".

See if you can find him in the picture above!


Now Can You See Him?

Now Can You See Him?
Now Can You See Him? | Source

Here He Is!

Here He Is!
Here He Is! | Source

Incredible But True

  • The Luna Moth's has a furry white body and green wings with eye spots on each of its four wings
  • The Luna Moth wingspan is 3-4 inches wide
  • The Luna Moth has long, curvy Hindwings
  • The Luna Moth only flies at night
  • The Luna Moth never eats because he has no mouth
  • The Luna Moth only lives for about 1 week
  • The Male Luna Moth has bushier antennae than the female
  • The Female Luna Moth can lay up to 200 eggs
  • They are now considered an endangered species in some areas

Source

Life Cycle of the Luna Moth

Luna Moth eggs are usually laid on the undersides of leaves. Seven to 14 days later the eggs hatch into caterpillars.

Luna moth caterpillars are lime green with orange spots or stripes on their sides The caterpillars go through 5 growth stages shedding their exoskeletons (external skeletons) several times.

The caterpillar eats the leaves of walnut, white birch, persimmon, hickory, sweet gum or sumac trees. The caterpillar then molts to a pupal stage and builds a brown, tent-like cocoon by spinning silk from near its mouth. It eventually emerges as a fully-grown adult but that can take several weeks.

Because the Luna Moth does not have a mouth it lives off fat ingested in the last days of its caterpillar stage. It sole purpose in its final stage of life is to mate and reproduce. Because a Luna Moths life is so brief, it is rarely seen.

The Life Cycle of a Luna Moth on Video

Would you like to Hang with More Luna Moths? - Here are just a few ideas

Male Luna Moth By Adam Jones
Male Luna Moth By Adam Jones | Source

© 2009 Cynthia Sylvestermouse

Tell Us About Your Luna Moth Sighting!

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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      For some reason this reminds of that story with the crazy title. Something like: The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      While I have seen many this is not one of them. Gorgeous.

      And what a life...or lack thereof..here today gone tomorrow...almost that quickly it seems.

      Thanks for sharing this beautiful insect with us.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

      Voted up and shared

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing your kids interesting stories with us. Have to admit, the Luna moth is pretty neat.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      What a beautiful looking moth

    • Sky Breeze profile image

      May Matthew 4 years ago

      The Luna Moth is very pretty. Thank you! I am also an insect lover. I wonder if you have seen the Lantern Bug? I use it for my profile image.

    • Sky Breeze profile image

      May Matthew 4 years ago

      The Luna Moth is very pretty. Thank you! I am also an insect lover. I wonder if you have seen the Lantern Bug? I use it for my profile image.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fun lens to stop by again. :)

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 4 years ago

      I love lunar moths! I've only seen one or two in my life. They are really impressive!

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 4 years ago

      We had a persistent visitor the other night... While we were sitting outside Friday evening by the fire... Mr. or Mrs. Luna Moth entertained us all night long, flying from one end of the property to the other, fluttering everywhere. It was quite a wonderful show.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 4 years ago from Connecticut

      A luna moth visited us this past weekend. It spent the night hanging from a window screen under a porch light, and the following day on the window ledge. As darkness fell, the luna moth flew off into the night sky.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I remember finding a luna moth when in high school for our science bug collection. I had no idea they only lived for 2 weeks! They are quite large for sure. Wonderful article!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just saw a Luna Moth for the first time today! Beautiful!!! Sad that they only live a week.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Saw one today! Friday May 4, 2012. It was a male, thought he was dead, but he began to flutter when he was put in a container. So we let him fly off to mate.

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I remember coming home one day to be greeted by a magnificent Luna Moth attached to the brick of my home at the front entrance. What a find! Great lense, many blessings

      Cheers

      Grace

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      What a beautiful moth! I've never seen one, but hope to someday.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      Another Pretty Lens!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Thanks for featuring my Luna moth photo!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      We have Luna moths at The Butterfly House where I volunteer so I've seen several of them there. I think they are elegant looking moths. Blessed

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Sorry! I forgot to add that I'm from New Jersey--and I think it's a pretty rare occurrence for my area to see one of these amazing creatures!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Earlly this morning (around 3 am), I had one fly right into my condo!! I took some really awesome pictures of it and didn't want to hurt it, so I turned the light off in the room and gently coaxed it back out the screen door. It was truly amazing! I'd love to post pics of it, but don't know how!

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