The Luna Moth (Actias luna) is a species of moth. It belongs in the family Saturniidae. The Luna Moth is thought to be North America's most beautiful insect.
The Luna Moth has a wingspan of 7.5 to 10.5 cm. The wings are lime-green. The bottom wings have long tails. There is a clear spot on each wing. There is a reddish-brown border on the top edge of the top wing. Some individuals have pinkish borders on the outer edge of both wings. Other individuals have yellowish borders instead. Adult Luna Moths do not have any mouths parts and cannot eat. They live by the fat they stored up at the larval stage. Because of this, they only live for about one week.
The Luna Moth is found in North America. It is found from Nova Scotia, west to North Dakota, south to Texas, and east to Florida.
The Luna Moth is found in habitats such as woodlands and forests.
Flight period [change]
The Luna Moth is seen from May to July in the northern part of its range. It is seen from March to September in the southern part of its range.
Life cycle [change]
The Luna Moth's eggs are brown. The caterpillar is green. It has bright red spots on its body. There are two yellow stripes that run down each side of the body. The caterpillar will grow to 6.5 cm long. The Luna Moth caterpillar is similar to the Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) caterpillar. The Polyphemus Moth caterpillar does not have the yellow stripes on its body. The Luna Moth's cocoon is made of dead leaves on the ground. It overwinters (spends the winter) as a cocoon. The Luna Moth has one brood (a brood is a group of offspring) each year in the northern part of its range. It has three broods each year in the southern part of its range.
Food plants [change]
The caterpillars feed on the following host plants: