Friday, April 08, 2011

First Luna Moth of the Season



The first Luna Moth (Actias luna) we've seen this season was on the window screen outside our computer room/office early Friday morning. Based on its large antennae and tails, I'd say this is a male.  Here in the south, Luna moths have enough time to go through three life cycles before the weather turns cold again. Actias luna only live for about a week in this final moth stage of their life.  They do not feed.  In fact, they have incomplete mouth parts and no digestive system.  Their only purpose as adult moths is to find a mate and breed, and for females to lay eggs so their life cycle can continue.  For complete species details, please see BugGuide.

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15 comments:

texwisgirl said...

Wow. That's a sad ending to their life (I guess I place a higher priority on food than propagation...) :)

It's stunningly perfect. Reminds me a bit of a stingray.

jeannette said...

Some lives are very short! Thanks for sharing 0never seen this moth:)

Kay said...

My favorite moth!
Not only are your photos lovely, but the information you give is really interesting.
Kay

Beyond My Garden said...

Me too, food first propagation later. That is why we have dinner first on a date. And that is a beautiful moth!
nellie

RedPat said...

I wonder how long the caterpillar stage lasts -maybe that is the real life of this guy and the moth stage is just there to make more caterpillars. It seems like a sad, but sexy time for this moth.

RedPat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
oldpoetsoul said...

You are so lucky to see one of these! Our last sighting was over ten years ago . . .

NicoleB said...

That's one heck of a moth!
The correct name for it too, it looks like something from outer space :D

Appalachian Lady said...

I only see these rarely in the spring so it's a real treat to see your photo. Thanks for all the information too.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I saw my first Luna Moth about 30 years ago, and have seen only one or two others since then, and never here at my home. They are beautiful. Interesting information; thanks.

MyMaracas said...

I have seen only one luna moth ever, and that was as a child many, many years ago. How lucky you are to have such magical creatures around your home.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a handsome bug. It seems early for them.

Kerri said...

That is so cool! I have never seen one in person! Great capture!

Stephanie Leverett said...

THERE WAS ONE OF THESE ON MY PORCH MY SON SAID MOM THERE'S A BIG BUG ON THE PORCH IT WAS AT NIGHT TURNED THE LIGHT ON IT WAS GORGEOUS I SAID IT LOOKS LIKE A BUTTERFLY THE NEXT MORNING IT WAS STILL THERE IT WAS THE FIRST TIME WE HAD SAW ONE OF THESE I WANTED TO KEEP IT AND FRAME IT BECAUSE WILL PROBABLY BE LAST TIME I SEE ONE OF THESE BUT MY HUSBAND SAID LET IT GO SO OFF IT WENT BUT I DO HAVE A QUESTION IUF ANYONE KNOWS CAN THEY SEE IN THE DARK BECAUSE IT KEPT FLYING INTO THE WALL AT NIGHT BUT THE NEXT DAY AT LIGHT IT FLEW AWAY

Marvin said...

I do not really know how well moths see in the dark. Scientists speculate that many moths use moonlight for navigation. Artificial light disorients them. This could be at least a partial explanation for why some moths -- like lunas -- tend to bounce around a while before settling down.