What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Big green moth/butterfly
Location: Southeast Iowa
May 8, 2011 9:53 am
Found this on my shed this morning. About 4×4 inches, bright green. Can you tell me what it is? Just lovely!
Signature: shaylyn

Luna Moth

Dear Shaylyn,
You have been lucky enough to encounter a Luna Moth, a species unlikely to be confused with any other North American moth.

Since I love butterflies and moths, this made my day! What a lovely thing! And in Iowa! I understand that’s a bit rare. Thanks for your reply, maybe I should have purchased a lottery ticket!

Hi again Sherry,
Luna Moths seem to either be very common in parts of their range, or virtually absent.  They require a habitat with needed food plants.  They are represented on this Iowa State University Horticulture web page, and BugGuide does report other sightings from Iowa though that does appear to be the most westerly range at your latitude.  There are more southern sightings as far west as Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Iowa

4 Responses to Luna Moth

  1. Nikki T says:

    I just saw a Luna Moth for the first time in the Atlanta area of Georgia, USA!! Beautiful and rare indeed : )

    • bugman says:

      While they are not really rare, they can be uncommon in many parts of their range due to habitat destruction and other factors.

  2. Thomas Wimsatt says:

    I just found a luna moth on the siding of my home in Waukee, Iowa. I took 4 photos of this beautiful moth and will be happy to share. The date and time of the sighting was 8/15/2017 at approx. 9 am . Tom W.

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