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

Subject: Green caterpillar with spikes
Location: Limpopo, South Africa
March 30, 2014 11:15 pm
My mother is trying to idenify this caterpillar. It is green with spikes onthe back. She lives om a farm near Musina in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Signature: Curious

What's that Silkworm???

What’s that Silkworm???

Dear Curious,
We are a bit excited that your Silkworm looks very much like the first South African species we researched, the African Moon Moth,
Argema mimosae.  The caterpillar of Argema mimosae resembles your caterpillar, since both have double rows of horns, what we suspect to be an uncommon feature.  This image on FlickR shows the distinctive intersegmental zones.  The imago is one of the loveliest and most elegant Giant Silkmoths in South Africa.

After your email I did a quick search. It looks like it is the African Moon Moth Caterpillar (Argema mimosae)

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s my monster green kite
Location: Eastern PA, USA
July 12, 2013 5:29 pm
Please help me identify this most unusual bug which appeared on the meter of my house in eastern PA
Signature: Chris

Male Luna Moth

Male Luna Moth

Hi Chris,
Your colorful subject line caught our attention.  This is a male Luna Moth, and it is most likely a second generation that eclosed from a caterpillar that was produced by Luna Moths that emerged from their cocoons earlier this past spring.  Luna Moths do not feed as adults, and they only survive a few days, long enough to mate and lay eggs for a future generation. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Polyphemus & Luna Moths
Location: St. Mary’s County, MD
June 10, 2013 10:34 am
We hit the jackpot this spring. One of my children brought home 2 cocoons that she found on the ground at a nearby playground, so we put them on the front porch in a butterfly habitat and started waiting. Last month, a polyphemus moth emerged, and last week a luna moth followed. We live at the bottom of Maryland on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, and we don’t usually see luna moths this early in the summer. By the way, my 10 y.o. thinks the polyphemus was a male and the luna was a female. Is she correct?
Signature: Laura

Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth

Hi Laura,
My you were lucky.  What a wonderful experience for your children to have experience these eclosions in a butterfly habitat.  The Polyphemus is definitely a male because of his plumose antennae.  The Luna is most likely a female as the antennae are not quite as feathery.  If you had kept the female in the habitat for a day or so, she might have attracted one or more males.  Have you ever attempted to raise caterpillars of the Giant Silk Moths in your area?  You should see if there is a National Moth Week event registered somewhere in your vicinity this year.  It might be a nice family outing.

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We will be away on holiday for ten days and we will not be responding to any of your numerous submissions and identification requests until we return.  We expect much backlog at that time and our already overworked staff might not be able to respond to your requests during that period.  Please use our archives and attempt to identify your creatures using our excellent search engine.  We hope we are lucky enough to see a Luna Moth on our trip.

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Update:  June 12, 2013
We have returned from holiday, and though we did not get to see any Luna Moths or any Fireflies, we did see several Red Spotted Purples, arguably one of the loveliest North American Butterflies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found in our garage
Location: Crossville, Tennessee
May 27, 2013 7:42 pm
We live in eastern Tennessee, this was found in our garage. Early summer evening. About 3” wingspan. Any info would be great.
Signature: Jennifer

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Hi Jennifer,
Many folks believe the Luna Moth is the lovliest North American Moth, but certainly it is the most distinctive looking North American moth as it doesn’t even remotely resemble any other species that is within our range.  Adults do not feed and only live long enough to mate and reproduce.  Your individual is a male as evidenced by his more feathery antennae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please ID This Insect
Location: Arlington, VA 22204
May 17, 2013 11:05 am
We found a Luna Moth is Arlington, VA 20850 on May 17, 2013.
This insect, thought to be just a leaf at first, was seen on May 17, 2013 in Arlington, VA adjacent to Washington, DC. It was lying on a parking lot floor which is open to the surrounding area. This is an urban area of businesse and residences. Reasonable density of trees, bushes.
It was alive when the attached picture was taken. The wingspan is about 4-5 inches.
Light green in color, obvious antenae upon close inspection. Large spots positioned symetrically on the wings look like eyes. Probably great example of use of both camouflage and threatening appearance at the same time.
Signature: Harold Cypress

Luna Moth

Luna Moth

Hi Harold,
Thanks for sending us your photo of this lovely Luna Moth.  It is nice to know they are found in urban Arlington.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination