Luna moth (Actis luna)

The luna moth (Actias luna) is a pale green, Nearctic Saturniid moth with a wingspan of up to 4.5 inches, making it one of the largest moth species in North America. As with all Saturniidae, luna moths emerge from their cocoons without mouth parts and as such do not eat. Their primary purpose, in the adult stage at least, is to mate, which means that they live only a week or so. Females lay 400-600 eggs, four to seven at a time, on the undersides of leaves, which then incubate for 8 to 13 days. The luna moth is unique to North America and wild populations are now threatened by light pollution, pesticides, and parasitic flies. Unfortunately, they are not listed by the IUCN or the EPA as endangered. Their larvae may be found on birch, sweetgum, hickory, and walnut trees, and the catepillars are a pale green with some bristles atop each segment. May we have the chance to see this stunning creature proliferate and continue its natural life cycles for generations to come!