Image Size: 10″ 7-3/4″
The Luna moth, with its broad wingspan of 80-120 mm, is quite spectacular. Its wings are a pale lime green with the outer margins normally suffused with pink or pinkish in individuals which emerge in the spring in the south; they are generally more yellow during the summer. The dark reddish brown band along the forewing margin is continuous across the body and coalesces with the prominent eyespots. There is another set of eyespots in the central hindwing.
Actias luna is widely distributed from southeastern Canada and throughout the eastern U.S. Its flight is rapid and rather precise in the males, and it is generally found in association with trees and shrubs, especially species of alder, beech, hickory and walnut, its larval host plants. Once quite common, populations of the Luna moth are on the decline, possibly due to parasites and other natural occurrences or perhaps to pollution or pesticide use. The conservation of this species is currently under study.
Text by Jacqueline Miller, Ph. D., Associate Curator, Allyn Museum of Entomology, Florida Museum of Natural History and Former President, The Lepidopterists’ Society
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Located in Duxbury MA