Random Insect: Luna moth

Luna moth (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae: Actias luna) photographed 08/07/2011 near Logan Ohio.

My wife and I recently revisited the Hocking Hills region of southeast Ohio.  As is the custom we stayed in one of the abundant rental cabins, and one morning we were met with this luna moth (LepidopteraSaturniidaeActias luna) by the front door.

Luna moth (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae: Actias luna) photographed 08/07/2011 near Logan Ohio.

These things are about as big as bugs get around here:

Luna moth (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae: Actias luna) photographed 08/07/2011 near Logan Ohio. Key for scale.

Among this insect’s host trees are hickories (Carya sp., Juglandaceae), which were abundant on these slopes in the Appalachian foothills.  Only the caterpillars feed, however.  The adults are concerned strictly with mating, and they only live about a week.

Luna moth (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae: Actias luna) photographed 08/07/2011 near Logan Ohio. Key for scale.

This moth didn’t leave the following night.  It was probably near the end of its short adult life.  With any luck it will live on through its offspring next year.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Entomology, Random Insect and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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