Luna Moth: Late in the season

Subject: Luna Moth
Location: Muncie, Indiana
September 7, 2015 8:11 pm
Is September 7th later than normal for Indiana?
Signature: Josh

Luna Moth
Luna Moth

Dear Josh,
According to BugGuide, Luna Moths have:  “One brood in the north, May-July. Three broods in the south, March-September. ”  Based on that information, this does seem rather late in the season.  To the best of our knowledge, Luna Moths pass the winter as cocoons, not eggs, so any progeny produced by this Luna Moth would need pupate prior to the first frost.  Additionally, a late season Luna MOth might have a difficult time attracting a mate.  According to BizLand:  “the eggs can be expected to hatch (8-12 days from date of deposit, depending on temperature,” and “the larvae require approximately five or six weeks (35-42 days) to grow from hatchlings to cocoon spinners.”  Using that approximate timeline, any progeny from this individual would need until at least October 21 to pupate, which is possible before a frost, but that is the minimum time.  Back to your original question, we feel this is a very late sighting, and not at all advantageous to the perpetuation of the species should there be an early frost, but with climate changes, some species may be adapting to changing temperature patterns, which may include early or late emergence.

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