Monday, June 18, 2018

Yard Critter of the Week - Luna Moth

Luna Moth.

I find the eye spots, the green lined wings, and the tails make it look like a sleepy elephant. Note the feathery antenna, this tells us that this is a male moth.

Here is a shot just a bit later with some friends.

The large black bug below the wing on the left is a Summer Fishfly, and is approximately an inch and a half long, which gives an idea of the Luna Moth's size. It is a big moth. The other three are moths.

They are all on a sheet we set up this past Friday evening in yard. We invited friends over, turned on the 400W moth light, sat back and enjoyed some food, drink, and conversation. And waited for the moths to come. And come they did.

It is one of my favorite night creatures. And a common visitor to the yard, as well as to the blog, as can be seen here, and here, and here, and no doubt other places if you poke around enough.

This particular individual appears a bit warn, missing part of the right upper wing and having a rather scraggly 'tail'. But it was still flying about, looking for looking for lady moths.

The adult phase of the Luna Moth has but one reason to be, to make more moths. They have at best vestigial mouth parts (I've found sources that say no mouth parts and others that say non-functional mouth parts) and cannot eat. So from the day they emerge to the day they die they've but one thing on their minds (and given the size of their brains that's about as much as they can handle).

Luna Moths are large and common through out the eastern United States. But because the adults live for about one week and are active at night they are rarely seen. But they are a beautiful sight and worth looking for.

You can find all of the Yard Critter posts listed here.

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