Currently viewing the category: "Luna Moth – Rare Specimen"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: luna moth
Location: nc
May 3, 2016 5:54 am
hello, please help !
I have (what I believe is a male) luna moth by my front door for several days now. I was hoping it would have flown away at night but it hasn’t and now its at the bottom of the door step and does not look like its in a comfortable spot his wings tip bent as he is long. I have read a previous post that someone had moved one to a tree , I would do that but its pouring out and he is currently sheltered from my porch. please advise what I should do as I do not want to see it die
Signature: thanks

Male Luna Moth

Male Luna Moth

Like other Giant Silkmoths, Luna Moths do not feed as adults, meaning they must survive off of energy in the form of fat stored while the caterpillar was feeding.  Flying takes tremendous energy.  The female Luna Moth lives as an adult to mate and then lay her eggs.  The male Luna Moth flies to locate a female when he senses her pheromones.  He does not fly around needlessly.  If there is no female nearby, your male Luna may be waiting until he catches the scent of a female before he flies off.  In a previous Cecropia Moth posting, we recommended relocating the female so that she might lay eggs.  There would be no purpose to relocate this male unless it is to place him nearer to a mate.  Adult Giant Silkmoths, including the Luna Moth, only live a few days, perhaps a week at most.  Sadly, if this male does not sense a female soon and fly to mate with her, he may die at your front door.  Our advice is to wait and let nature take its course.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found this on my sisters doorstep
Location: Newport news va
April 24, 2016 8:13 am
I need help. My sister found this on her doorstep yesterday.
Signature: Help

Luna Moths

Luna Moths

Thanks for sending these great images of a pair of Luna Moths.  The male is the individual on the left with the more feathery antennae.  Like other Giant Silkmoths, Luna Moths do not feed as adults, and when a female emerges, she has only a few days to mate and lay eggs.  She releases pheromones, and the male is able to detect her presence, often from many miles away, because his antennae are sensory organs that can sense the pheromones. 

Luna Moths

Luna Moths

Thank you for your response.  I really do appreciate it.  Have a great day

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Colorful unknown insect
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
April 22, 2016 4:32 am
This bug was on the garage door frame yesterday. It was about 10cm long and 4-5 cm wide.
Signature: Gramma Patty

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dear Gramma Patty,
This gorgeous creature is a male Luna Moth, one of our favorite insects.  We just posted our first Luna Moth image of the season a few days ago.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pretty Green Moth
Location: Virginia Beach
April 19, 2016 1:22 pm
Hey there,
Spotted this big guy hanging out in the window of the local grocery store, above some bags of mulch.
It’s wing looks damaged though :(
Never seen a moth that color before. Is it even a moth?
Signature: Lorraine

Male Luna Moth

Male Luna Moth

Dear Lorraine,
Even with damaged wings, this male Luna Moth, our first report of 2016, is a beautiful creature.  We suspect an encounter with a predatory bird resulted in the wing damage.  Normally we get our first Luna Moth reports of the year in late January or early February from Texas or Florida, and by May we get reports from Maine and Canada.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Luna Moth
Location: Indianapolis
October 10, 2015 6:50 pm
We have had such an amazing journey with the Luna Moth this summer … starting with the large green caterpillar stowing away in a bag in early June, later to be found as a cocoon inside the bag, which when placed on our screened in porch … emerged as the beautiful moth several weeks later. Upon attempting to set it free (by opening the screened door at night in hopes that it would fly out during the night), she instead attracted her mate to the porch, and 250 eggs later … we soon found ourselves providing walnut leaves for a large sum of caterpillars for about 40 days. They all cocooned and we were banking on them overwintering in their cocoons, when to our surprise … two have emerged … and they have already attracted a mate (from beyond the screened porch) who found the screened in porch last night. I fear that we will start the cycle again, and there won’t be enough leaves still on the trees (Indiana) to keep them fed until they pupate. Plus, its getting cold outside. Should I bring them inside, or let nature take its course?
Signature: Ellen in Indiana

Luna Moth Caterpillar

Luna Moth Caterpillar

Dear Ellen,
We are speechless about your submission, but at least we have the wherewithal to title it the “Story of the Year for 2015” and to post your three gorgeous images, which we took the liberty of cropping and formatting for web.

Mating Luna Moths

Mating Luna Moths

Good Morning Ellen,
We believe you should try to raise some of the caterpillars in captivity and release the others into the wild.  According the BugGuide, the caterpillars will feed upon the leaves of:  “The caterpillars eat a variety of trees including white birch (Betula papyrifera), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), hickories (Carya), walnuts (Juglans), pecans, and sumacs (Rhus).”  Thankfully you have choices other than walnut for feeding the caterpillars.  You can also turn to Bill Oehlke’s magnificent site on Silkmoths for instructions on raising Luna Moth Caterpillars, though it sounds like you don’t have much need for that information.  Not all adults emerge at the same time and having generations of moths mature at different times is undoubtedly a benefit to the species.  Thanks again for your thrilling account of raising Luna Moths.

The Next Generation: Hatchling Luna Moth Caterpillars

The Next Generation: Hatchling Luna Moth Caterpillars

Update:  October 12, 2015
Thank you so much for your reply and advice. I had another female emerge today and have attached a short video. This is before her wings dried and expanded. The male who showed up on Sat., I think must have been close to his last days. There has been no pairing activity and pretty sure that he will expire soon. Planning to leave the porch door open tonight to let the females fly off if they wish, or attract another male to the porch if there are any in the vicinity. Really hoping that the remainder of the pupae remain cocooned for the winter! Again, thank you for the reply. I have had fun sharing the link to the Story of the Year!!
Ellen

You can try refrigerating the remaining cocoons to prevent them from hatching until spring.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Early Morning Visiter
Location: Eastern North Carolina
October 9, 2015 1:37 am
Hello bugman,
I need your help. I snapped a pic of this little guy and I’ve searched a bunch of sites to identify it to no avail. I live in Eastern North Carolina and he joined me for coffee at 4am while at work. He posed for a photo dipped his wing to say bye and flew off. Summer mornings are full of surprises. If you can help awesome, if not at least you got a good looking butterfly for you gallery.
Signature: JZS

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dear JZS,
Goodness, summer lasts much longer in North Carolina.  We are several weeks into autumn in Los Angeles right now.  Lucky you to have seen this lovely Luna Moth.  We believe based on the narrow antennae that this is a female, and hopefully she has mated and can lay fertile eggs, ensuring a new generation.  Luna Moths are Giant Silkmoths in the family Saturniidae, and they do not feed as adults, living only a few days which is long enough to mate and procreate and not much else, though they do provide a nice snack for any birds, bats or other insectivores that catch them.  The battered wings are a good indication that some unsuspecting predator attacked the long tails on the hindwings, enabling the moth to fly off, damaged but still alive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination