There are over 160,000 species of moths in the United States. Moths are a group of insects that are related to butterflies. They belong to the Lepidoptera order. There are more than 54 moth species documented in Georgia.
In this series, we will discuss the following moths:
- Abbott’s Sphinx Moth
- Abbreviated Button Slug
- Eight-Spotted Forester Moth
- Indianmeal Moth
- Luna Moth
- Scarlet-Bodied Wasp Moth
The luna moth, Actias luna (Linnaeus), is possibly the most beautiful moth. It appeared on a first-class United States postage stamp issued in 1987. It was selected to be on the front cover of A Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America in 2005. The luna moth is in the 2007 television commercials for the sleep aid Lunesta.
The reason it is called luna is from its moon-like spots.
The adult wingspan is 75 to 105 mm. Adult luna moths are large green moths. They have a long tail on each hind wing and discal eyespots on both the fore and hind wings.
Luna Moth, common name for an American moth that is green with a yellow stripe on each side. The luna moth grows to a length of 3 inches before pupation. Its wingspread is approximately 3.5 inches. The luna moth’s wings are light green, with a maroon border on the front.
Are they harmful or poisonous?
Luna moths are possibly the most harmless creatures on Earth. Lunas are completely harmless at every stage. They are also not poisonous to eat.
Adult luna moths live for approximately one week.
Luna moths primarily occur in timbered areas. They prefer deciduous woodlands that have hickory, walnut, persimmon and birch trees.
Luna moth caterpillars eat the foliage of hickory, walnut, sweetgum, and persimmon trees.
Male or Female?
It is easy to observe the gender differences between male and female luna moths while they are still in cocoons by looking at the markings on the outside of the cocoon. Once a luna moth has hatched, you can tell the female from male Luna months by looking at the antennae, body shape, and color of the bodies.
The luna moth belongs to the:
Classified: Actias luna
One brood from May-July in the north, two to three broods from March-September in the south.
These moths are found in Nova Scotia west to Saskatchewan and eastern North Dakota; south to central Florida, the Gulf Coast, and eastern Texas.
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