Luna Moth Dies in Virginia

Subject: Luna moth
Location: Wytheville VA mountains
August 31, 2015 2:59 pm
This beauty was on our car bumper when we overnighted in Wytheville VA in early August. I thought it was so beautiful. I’d never seen one before. Unfortunately it was injured, missing 1 antenna. It was barely moving when I placed it on the ground. FB friends identified it for me.
Signature: Jane Price

Luna Moth
Luna Moth

Dear Jane,
The remaining plumose antenna indicates that this is a male Luna Moth.  Luna Moths do not eat as adults, and they live solely to reproduce.  The male spends his adult life searching for a mate, and once mated, he has fulfilled his purpose.  The mated female Luna Moth’s sole purpose is to search for the appropriate food for her brood and to lay her eggs on, according to BugGuide, leaves from trees:  “including white birch (
Betula papyrifera), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), hickories (Carya), walnuts (Juglans), pecans, and sumacs (Rhus).”  We would like to think that your male Luna Moth fulfilled his purpose.

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