What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I never saw anything like this before
August 31, 2009
I saw this bug on August 31 around 2:00 pm while I was at work. It seemed to be resting on the side of a wall next to a doorway. I thought it was a leaf at first but at a second glance I realized it wasn’t. I never saw a flying insect like this before especially around my area so I am curious as to know what it is.
Matthew S. Gremo
Philadelphia PA, USA

Battered Luna Moth

Battered Luna Moth

Hi Matthew,
This is a very battered Luna Moth that is missing its elegant tails.  Though the tails are quite distinctive and lovely, they are not truly necessary for flight or survival.  Since Luna Moths are tasty treats for birds and bats, we suspect the life of many a Luna Moth has been spared when a predator made off with a mouthful of wing rather than a fat succulent body.  It is our opinion that the wing development of a Luna Moth is a highly evolved survival tactic.  Luna Moths do not feed as adults, and die within a few days of emergence from the pupa.  If losing the tails on the wings allows the adult moth to survive just a few hours longer, it will have time to mate and lay eggs, securing the production of a new generation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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