Currently viewing the category: "Luna Moth – Rare Specimen"

Subject: Moth or what?
Location: Louisiana
March 16, 2017 7:38 pm
What is this?
Signature: Shawn Keith Hyde

Luna Moth

Dear Shawn,
The Luna Moth is arguably the loveliest North American moth.  Like other members of its family Saturniidae, adult Luna Moths do not eat.  They live long enough to mate and reproduce.

Subject: Luna
Location: Juliette Ga
February 22, 2017 9:48 pm
Just wanted to post this for you all, such a beauty.
Signature: Trent

Male Luna Moth

Dear Trent,
Thanks so much for sending in your image.  We always thrill at our first Luna Moth posting each year and your image is especially lovely as the backlighting really enhances the translucent beauty of the wings.  The heavily feathered antennae indicates your individual is a male.  We hope he finds a mate to perpetuate the species.

Subject: Giant Silkmoth
Location: captivity
January 8, 2017 10:03 am
I saw a FB Post saying you didn’t have a photo of the Giant Silkmoth. The drawing is so spot on, I don’t think you need one, but here it is – from the Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, AZ
Signature: Ranger Dan

Madagascar Moon Moth

Dear Ranger Dan,
Thanks so much for sending in your gorgeous image of a Madagascar Moon Moth,
Argema mittrei, in captivity.

Subject: Argema mittrei life stages
Location: Madagascar
January 6, 2017 11:47 am
Dear Daniel,
with my best wishes for 2017, I’d like to send You a drawing with Argema mittrei life stages as a little Christmas present…
Signature: Bostjan Dvorak

Life Cycle of Argema mittrei by Bostjan Dvorak

Happy New Year Bostjan,
Thank you for submitting your beautiful drawing. 
Argema mittrei is really a beautiful Giant Silkmoth.  While we do not have any images on our site of that species, we do have an image of a relative from the African mainland, Argema mimosae, on our site.  We also have an image of what we believe to be the Caterpillar of Argema mimosae.  Perhaps you can let us know if that identification is correct. Mada Magazine has a nice article on the Madagascar Moon Moth or Comet Moth.

Subject: Luna Moths
Location: Pittsburgh
October 5, 2016 1:50 pm
I’d like to plan an outing this year where we would have a higher likelihood of seeing a Luna Moth. What is the season for the Luna Moth in Pittsburgh, PA?
Signature: David

Ed. Note:  Once we learned the lovely, originally submitted image was not taken by David, it was removed and replaced with an image from our archives.

Mating Luna Moths

Mating Luna Moths (image from our archives)

Dear David,
Your Luna Moth image is positively lovely.  When did you take it?
We will request our readers who live in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio within 50 miles of Pittsburgh to write in with any personal Luna Moth sightings.  According to BugGuide, Pennsylvania sightings are between April and September, but we are not certain those sightings distinguish between caterpillars and imagos.  According to Ohio BugGuide data, May through August, skipping to October are months with sightings.  In our own archives, we would stick to images of mating pairs as that seems like peak season, in our minds.  This Swarthmore, Pennsylvania sighting is from August 5, 2016.  This Pulaski Township sighting is from June 1, 2014.  This reintroduction program from Chagrin Falls, Ohio occurs at the end of July to the beginning of August.

I did not take the photo, it was required for a submission. But I do volunteer with Venture Outdoors and we are planning some Citizen Science outings with respect to insects.
We did a wonderful Monarch banding trip last Sunday but did not see a single Monarch. We did see 2 pairs of mating Praying Mantises.
Thanks for your help in planning our Spring moth event!
David Bennett

Thanks for letting us know that you did NOT take the image David.  Do you have permission to post the image or was it pilfered from the internet?  We are very conscious of internet plagiarism and copyright infringement, and we will have to remove your submitted image and replace it with one from our own archives if you do not have permission.  Our standard submission form clearly states:  “By submitting an identification request and/or photo(s), you give permission to use your words and image(s) on their website and other publications. Also, you swear that you either took the photo(s) yourself or have explicit permission from the photographer or copyright holder to use the image.”  We hope folks from the Pittsburgh area write in with any information they might have about sightings from previous years.  You might want to check back nearer to your trip planning time to see if there are any comments submitted to this posting.

It’s not my image, and I did not intend to post, just wanted to ask a question
David Bennett

Thanks David.  We will remove it and replace it with an image from our own archives.

I’m so happy to discover your website and I will be happy to post REAL pictures in the future. For example I lead a butterfly event every July that participates in the NABA count.
David Bennett

We look forward to future submissions from you David.

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.