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Luna Moth

Actias luna


Hindwings have long curving tails. Wings are pale green, each with a transparent eyespot. Outer margins are pink in the southern spring brood like this spotting. Outer margins are yellow in the southern summer brood and in northern populations. Wing Span: 2 15/16 - 4 1/8 inches (7.5 - 10.5 cm).


Range is Nova Scotia west to Saskatchewan and eastern North Dakota; south to central Florida, the Gulf Coast, and eastern Texas.This one was observed at the edge of a deciduous hardwood forest in Edgefield County, SC.


Adults are very strong fliers and are attracted to lights. Mating takes place after midnight, and egg-laying begins that evening. Females lay eggs in small groups or singly on both surfaces of host plant leaves. The eggs hatch in about one week and the caterpillars are sedentary and solitary feeders. Leaves and silk are used to spin papery brown cocoons in litter under the host plant. Caterpillar hosts include a variety of trees including white birch (Betula papyrifera), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), hickories (Carya), walnuts (Juglans), and sumacs (Rhus). Adults do not feed.

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1 Comment

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 7 years ago

Spectacular spotting, Ken!

Spotted by

South Carolina, USA

Spotted on Apr 13, 2013
Submitted on Apr 16, 2013

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