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Luna Moths

Hard to tell who's prettier
Hard to tell who's prettier

Hailey from Verona Island found a Luna moth in the rec hall this weekend.  Anytime we see one on the side of a building or clinging to a tree, I’m filled with wonder because they are simply so beautiful;  but when the kids asked me questions about the life cycle of these spectacular creatures I didn’t have very much information to share…but I have Google!

Did you know that these beautiful moths:

  • Come in all shades from lime green to yellow-green
  • Average 3-4 inches wide and 5-6 inches long, including the long tail
  • Fly only at night
  • Adult moths have no mouths, they eat NOTHING
  • Live throughout North America
  • Adult female moths lay up to 200 eggs in small groups on the leaves of walnut trees. These eggs are as small as the top of a pin. Ten days later, small caterpillars eat their way out of the eggs
  • The newborn caterpillar eats constantly – several leaves every day – growing quickly. Soon the caterpillar’s skin is so tight, it starts to split. The caterpillar wriggles out of its old skin, having formed a fresh, new skin underneath. (The larva stage)
  • At 2 1/2 inches long, the caterpillar is now fully grown. It stops eating, and looks for a safe place to make a cocoon (The cocoon-metamorphosis stage)
  • In one week the adult moth emerges to live it’s life for only one week  (The moth stage)

In total from egg to adult to death a Luna Moth lives about 10 weeks…now there’s a life that’s over in a flash!

If you have 3 minutes to spare, watch this video…I found it fascinating because I learned from it that we have seen luna moth caterpillars in the garden before…maybe you have too.

One response to “Luna Moths”

  1. They are absolutely beautiful, that is for sure. I remember I took photos when I first saw one. How very interesting to learn about this creature! Thank you!

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