Catching Up: Luna Moth

Back in early August I got a text from my neighbor, asking if I knew what this thing was on her tree:

She had sent a blurry phone camera image, but I knew exactly what it was. As I hurried over with my camera, I texted back: "Luna Moth!"


Actias luna, the "Luna Moth", with a wingspan typically about 4.5" (115 mm), is one of the largest moths in North America.

It's certainly one of the biggest we'll see around here, and I don't remember if I've ever seen one before.

Once when I was a child I saw a huge moth flying around the street light one night at my cousin's somewhat rural house, but that's a vague memory.

This one is up close! 

Probably just emerged and waiting for its wings to completely dry (note the "tail" parts).

There are several persimmon trees in this neighbor's yard -- a host plant for the larvae. I'm surprised she's never seen one of these before.

I'm glad she saw it this time!

(These photos were taken in early August)


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luv2garden  – (October 18, 2019 at 11:10 AM)  

A beautiful moth. A great opportunity to get such detailed photos.

Chickadee Gardens  – (October 18, 2019 at 6:01 PM)  

Oh my, what a cool moth! How lucky you got to see it, thanks for sharing, Alan!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage  – (October 18, 2019 at 7:17 PM)  

I saw one up close when I was a kid. It was so beautiful. I remember thinking way back then that it looked magical, for one thing the one I saw was huge, and secondly the green of the wings almost seemed to glow from within. I have only seen a Luna that one time in my entire life. I'm 65.

chavliness  – (October 23, 2019 at 12:26 PM)  

WOW. This moth is stunning. Amazing camouflage, if it wasn't on the bark it would be impossible to notice.

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