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Luna Moths

Yesterday’s post was, as you quickly guessed, an eyespot from the forewing of a Luna Moth, Actias luna, one of North America’s giant silkworm moths. With a wingspan up to 4 ½,” it is one of our largest moths. Markings that resemble eyes are found not only on moths, but also on butterflies, birds, fish and reptiles. When they occur on butterflies and moths, eyespots are usually on the wings and are thought to scare off potential predators as well as to direct attacks away from vital body parts. After emerging from their cocoons, Luna Moths live for only about a week, during which time their sole mission is to mate. Like many other ephemeral insects, Luna Moths have no mouthparts and thus, do not eat as adults. (The phenomenal number of Luna Moths this summer may, in part, be due to the mild winter we had, which allowed more pupae to survive.)

3 responses

  1. Libby

    Hi Mary, Since Lunas don’t eat as adults, do they drink?

    June 27, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    • Hi Libby,
      I should have said “feed,” as all any adult butterfly or moth can do is drink (not eat) — so no, lunas don’t drink or consume any nutrients in any way. Thanks for catching that!

      June 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

  2. Libby

    Funnily, the next day after your post I found a luna in the sideyard grass – it was a bit ragged in the wings, but alive – it survived for several days, Before I read your response tonight, I thought to lay it on a moistened cloth, just in case. Obviously, it didn’t matter! Now it graces an indoor plant. It’s a beauty.

    July 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm

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