These striking moths may be found year-round in forested areas of Florida and Louisiana. Luna moths range throughout the eastern United States as far west as eastern Texas and eastern North Dakota. Also in southern Canada from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan.
The adult moth is large with a wingspan of 7.5 - 10.5 cm (3 - 4 in.). Wings are pale green with a reddish-brown border and long curving tails. The southern spring brood has a pink border, summer brood and northern populations will have yellow in the border. The name luna comes from the moon-like transparent eyespots on the hindwings. The forewings have more prominent eyespots connected to the border on the leading edge with a dark curved line.
The caterpillars of each larval state are green with dots along the sides that vary from yellow to a dark magenta. The final instar can be up to 9 cm (3.5 in.) long. Caterpillars feed on the following host plants: birch, alder, persimmon, sweetgum, hickory, walnut and sumac. Cocoons are concealed in leaf litter on the ground.
Actias luna is a member of the Saturniidae - Giant silkworm moths family.
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
University of Florida, Dept. of Entomology Featured Creatures page for this species
Date record last modified: Dec 10, 2011