PIc of my lunar moth

roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)March 19, 2009

Found this in my yard last nite - i was fascinated - and pleased to find out that they are "good"!

Here is a link that might be useful: my lunar moth

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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

OH WOW!! I never saw one live, I bet you are ecstatic.
I will look up more information on host plants and food plants for this lovely creature. Do you think he is a new
moth with his wings just drying? or any more info will be appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:01PM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

I had never seen one either, so i was fascinated. Jan (tweetypye) said they don't live long - and it was fluttering around and could get off the ground - so i really don't know. it was the first time i had ever seen one - and yes, i am going to try to figure out how to attract more! Let me know what you learn!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:07PM
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tsmith2579(7B)

I've seen them most often around wooded areas. How big was this one? I've seen them 6 inches across, they can grow huge.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:13PM
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catbird(z7 AL)

Wonderful photograph. Thanks for sharing and do let us know what you find out about attracting them. I want one!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 5:04PM
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tweetypye(z8/sc AL)

I find them around my place in the spring and summer a lot. Most of the time in the early morning, but if you go out at night, you will often find them around street lights etc. Both Rosie and I have lots of woods adjacent to us so maybe that's why they show up here often.
Jan

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:53PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Luna moths (not lunar) are so beautiful, aren't they? But I'm not real certain by what you mean by 'they are good'. The moths do not act as pollinators in their very short time as adults...but at least the caterpillars, though voracious feeders of a wide assortment of deciduous trees, don't collect together in huge groups.

Because of that, they aren't really considered a forest pest...and THAT'S a good thing! The fully developed caterpillar is a BIG, green monster, lol.

They are found in wooded areas, which explains why Jan and Rosie see them more often than some of us do. They aren't attracted to any kind of flower (since they don't feed).

Those gorgeous moths have one job and that is to mate. Once that's been accomplished, they die. Few live longer than a week or so as adults.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 12:24PM
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tweetypye(z8/sc AL)

rhizo 1.....that's specifically what I meant by "good". Rosie just wanted to make sure they weren't a species that damages ornamentals, etc. I think. :)
Jan

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 1:30PM
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collinw(7b)

Luna moths pupate in leaf litter, so if you don't rake or at least leave some leaves as mulch you are more likely to attract them to your yard. I mulch with leaves and I frequently find them in my yard. With our long growing season we get about 3 or 4 cycles of Luna moths a year beginning in March and occurring every 8-10 weeks.

I personally find them to be amazingly beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 11:43PM
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mpljc

If I remember correctly. Lunar Moths only live for about a week. They do not have a mouth to eat - so not sure what they could do - harm wise or pollination wise or anything else for that matter. It appears that the only reason they live is to mate and reproduce.

The female lunar moth tends to lay its eggs on the bottom of Black Walnut leaves.

The caterpillars on the other hand do tend to eat a variety of hardwood leaves including sweet gum, american beech, red maple, hickories, white oaks, black cherry, american chestnut, willows and a few others.

I have seen a few of these hatch out. They usually hatch on in the mornings - mid mornings. Then they have to hang and dry out. Then it will wait until night fall to fly off to find a mate.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:48AM
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