Luna Moth

A Luna Moth has such an interesting color and also has unique markings. It has broad pale green wings and delicate tail streamers. It is sometimes known as the “American Moon Moth” as it only flies at night.

The scientific name for this species is Actias Luna. They have a wingspan of 3 – 4.5 inches and the larvae can grow up to 3.5 inches long. The first person in North America to collect a Luna moth was a guy from Maryland called Hugh Jones.

After this, a naturalist James Petiver created a plate of this insect species and labelled it Phalena plumata caudate around 1700.

Quick Facts: –

  • Luna Moths are usually found in and around deciduous woodlands where their larval food plants occur.
  • The larva of the Luna Moth is bright green and has narrow yellow lines.
  • It starts out as a very hungry caterpillar. Newly hatched, this caterpillar constantly munches on the leaves of walnut, hickory, sweet gum etc.
  • These moths spin the tails of their wingtips in circle to protect themselves from their predators.
  • When threatened, the caterpillars of these insects click their mandibles.
  • Their average life span as an adult is approximately one week.
  • The female moths can lay anywhere from 200-600 eggs. The eggs are generally laid in batches.
  • The insect does not have a mouth or a digestive system. This is the reason why it lives for such a short period of time.
  • They sometimes use their color to mimic leaves for camouflage.