An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Luna Moth Caterpillars

The large, green swallow-tailed moth known as the Luna Moth (Actias luna) is familiar to many.  Its short life of about a week begins in June when it emerges from its cocoon, mates, lays eggs and then dies. The larval stage of this giant silk moth is not as well known, but has just as striking an appearance as the adult moth.  It is an unforgettable lime-green with tiny magenta spots along its length.

When threatened by a predator, Luna Moth caterpillars have several defensive behaviors, including emitting clicks as a warning and regurgitating the contents of their intestine, both of which have proved to be effective deterrents.  Look for these caterpillars on their host trees which include birch, hickory and walnut.  (Thanks to Susan and Dean Greenberg for photo op.)

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to http://www.naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com and click on the yellow “donate” button.

 

5 responses

  1. Ann Hesselsweet

    We used to find them all over the woods in Michigan. Sadly haven’t seen one in 20 years.

    August 7, 2020 at 8:12 am

  2. Diane Alexander

    Beautiful little animals!

    August 7, 2020 at 8:44 am

  3. Susan Page

    One day I was surprised (about 12 years ago) to see a Luna Moth on a stucco wall adjacent to my condo. I watched it for about 4 days and then it disappeared. Got photos of it in the meantime. That’s my single sighting of the beautiful creature. Will look on the Walnut Tree out back! Thanks for your

    August 7, 2020 at 9:08 am

  4. JANE GREENBERG

    We found this amazing cecropia caterpillar “s poops and later found it on a birch tree with branches over our picnic table. Love your posts. Jane

    On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 8:02 AM Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” The large, green swallow-tailed moth known as the > Luna Moth (Actias luna) is familiar to many. Its short life of about a > week begins in June when it emerges from its cocoon, mates, lays eggs and > then dies. The larval stage of this giant silk moth is ” >

    August 7, 2020 at 9:28 am

  5. Alice

    I feel fortunate to have seen a Luna month 3 different times….they sure don’t live very long, once eclosed.

    August 7, 2020 at 2:33 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s