Luna moths (Actias luna) are found in deciduous forests from Saskatchewan to Texas, and from Nova Scotia to Florida.
Like all silk moths, luna moths don’t feed as adults. They have no mouths and only live for about a week. During that time, their one goal is to find a mate and pass on their genes before they die.
They sometimes wander indoors if the lights are on at night. This can be helpful because it gives them the chance to escape from predators like praying mantises and spiders.
Luna moth caterpillars feed mainly on plants in the walnut family, including hickory trees, walnut trees, pecan trees, and sweetgum trees. The species is most common in the eastern United States, but it also occurs in southern Canada and across much of Mexico.
Is it rare to see a luna moth?
Luna moths are not rare but are rarely seen by humans. They only have one flight in a year and then die. They are mostly nocturnal, so people do not often see them. The Luna moth is native to the eastern part of North America and is found from Nova Scotia in the north to Florida in the south.
The adult Luna Moth lives for about one week and does not eat during this time. While the male moth has a proboscis (a tube that allows it to drink nectar from flowers), the female does not have one, so she cannot eat. The adult’s mate lays eggs on oak or walnut trees, and then die.
What is most surprising about the luna moth?
In terms of pure beauty, the luna moth is one of the most attractive North American moths.
The luna moth is among the largest moths found in North America. It has a wingspan of 3½ to 4½ inches and its wings are pale green, with a white fringe along their edges. The female has a greater overall size and tail streamers than the male.
It is believed that the long streamers on the hindwing of female luna moths serve as false antennae to distract or deceive potential predators when the moth is at rest with its wings folded over its back.
While it can be easy to get caught up in the beauty of the luna moth and fall in love with these spectacular creatures, they are more than just a pretty face. They are better than that. In fact, they are examples of evolution at work and serve as a reminder of how fascinating nature is.