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

Subject: plant-like creature
Location: Swarthmore, PA
August 5, 2016 4:51 am
This, which I took at first to be a plant, was clinging to a lamp post this morning. What is it please?
Signature: talluncle31

Mating Luna Moths

Mating Luna Moths

Dear talluncle31,
Though we have already received several images of Luna Moths this year, we are especially thrilled to post and feature your mating pair of Luna Moths, arguably the most distinctive looking North American moth species.  The male in the pair has the more feathery antennae, which he uses to sense the pheromones of the female, who is full of eggs and has the fatter abdomen.  Luna Moths do not eat as adults, and they live only long enough to mate and procreate.

Mating Luna Moths

Mating Luna Moths

Thank you very much for the identification of the Luna Moths. They were still there as it got dark last evening, but no longer in contact. This morning they were gone.
Talluncle31

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this moth?
Location: Northern Kentucky
July 31, 2016 6:10 pm
Just wondering what this is the kids found it on our property.
Signature: Fun in ky

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dear Fun in ky,
Though there are several other large green moths native to North America, including the Pandorus Sphinx and the Pacific Green Sphinx, nothing looks remotely similar to the Luna Moth.  Other continents have relatives of the Luna Moth, including the Indian Moon Moth, but again, there is nothing else in North America that looks anything like this beautiful creature.

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Luna Moth
Location: Bridgeton, Maine
June 21, 2016 4:36 pm
Found this guy on the cement next to a gas pump. Was still alive thankfully. He or she also did not judge me for pumping $40.01…
Signature: Dave

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Dear Dave,
We suspect this Luna Moth was probably attracted to the lights at the all night gas station, and then remained after the sunrise.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Luna Moth
Location: Rockford, Mi
June 17, 2016 8:43 am
I have never seen this one before but when a co worker informed me I had to identify it! It’s a Luna Moth resting on the wall outside the back door.
Signature: LisaM

Male Luna Moth

Male Luna Moth

Dear LisaM,
Congratulations on your wonderful sighting.  The more feathery antennae indicate this Luna Moth is a male.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: This guy is near my Luna moth.
Location: Reston virginia.
May 14, 2016 6:51 pm
I have a beautiful Luna moth at my front door and another large brown moth I can’t identify on my outdoor light.
Questions.
1 are Luna moths endangered by weather in th 30’s?
2 his wings are quivering. What does that mean?
3 what is the brown moth on my lamp?
4 there’s a toad hanging out near the Luna. Will he eat him/her?
Thank you. So happy I found your website.
Signature: Love nature.

Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth

Dear Love nature,
All of the preserved native open space in Reston is obviously having a positive impact on wildlife.  Adult Giant Silkmoths, including Luna Moths, emerge from the cocoon when conditions, including temperature, are conducive to reproduction.  If temperatures dip to the low 30s, the moths will likely not fly and await a warming trend, but if they are sheltered, they will most likely survive.  Quivering wings are sometimes evident just prior to a moth beginning to fly, and the phenomenon is explained on BugGuide:  “The shaking behavior is a method of regulating body temperature, similar to shivering in humans. Though these are ‘cold-blooded’ animals, their nocturnal nature forces them to be active in lower temperatures, so the shivering heats up the flight muscles enough to expend the massive amounts of energy required to take off.”  Your brown moth is a male Polyphemus Moth, a species with pronounced eyespots on the ventral surface.  Regarding your final question, we believe you are mistaken.  That appears to be a cat and not a toad that is checking out your Luna Moth.  A cat can do considerable damage to a Luna Moth, including mortally wounding it. 

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Thank you for your quick response.  That was my cat wishing she were on the other side of the door (which will NEVER happen). The toad was out of sight of my camera.  My husband moved him down the porch for the evening.  The Luna was gone this morning so I hope he/she is ok.  These beautiful moths come to my home annually.
Love your website.  Thank you so much.
Debi

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2007/08/14/indian-moon-moths/Subject: Looks like moth
Location: Rock island, il
May 10, 2016 3:37 am
Found this bug. Not sure what it is
Signature: Barb

Luna MOth

Luna Moth

Dear Barb,
Though it has similar looking relatives in other parts of the world like the Indian Moon Moth, no other North American species looks remotely like your Luna Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination