Luna Moth

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)March 30, 2012

We had a brief downpour of rain this afternoon. I don't know if it was the weight of the wet leaves or what, but just as it was ending, I was in my kitchen, when I saw something sort of large plop down on the hummingbird feeder outside my kitchen window. From the corner of my eye, I thought it was a leaf, but when I looked out the window, a luna moth was perched on the feeder -

It's good to see a luna moth! If it were a female, I'd put it in a butterfly cage, unzip the cage just enough that a male could get in, and wait for the suitors to arrive late tonight. Female lunas have combs, but they're small, and this guy's looks too big for him to be a female. So, he'll leave tonight.

One interesting thing, you're supposed to know for sure that a luna moth has overwintered by the burgundy colored edging around the wings. This luna moth doesn't appear to have any - if you squint, you can see a very thin, VERY faint burgundy line around the edge, but it's the least I've ever seen on a March moth. Maybe he's just old and faded, I don't know. Here's a picture I took a few years? ago for comparison of the edging -

Lunas are my favorite moth!

Sherry

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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Cool story! Manna from Heaven! :D Looks like a male to me too.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:18AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Manna from heaven is just what I thought when I first saw him, too, KC. He left as soon as it got dark last night.
I'd love to raise a few lunas this year - maybe I'll order some eggs, if they're available.

Sherry

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 1:13PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Lucky you! I have plenty of host plants for them but I think I've only seen one since I've lived here (20+ years).

Somewhere I've seen some info on the best time to watch for certain moths. I need to find that and set my alarm so I can check. I've wondered if they're all outside having a party at four in the morning under my porch light and I just never get to see it.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 8:29AM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Was just standing in our "TV room," watching part of "The Voice" that my wife wanted me to see. I noticed something coming at me from the kitchen. It flew in and landed. Turned out to be a male luna. I thought I had all my luna cocoons outside in the garage. Seems like at least one cat escapee a year gets to surprise us in the spring. Last year it was a poly.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 10:11PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I was doing a search to make sure no one had posted about the book I just posted. My search came up with a Miss Sherry luna thread from 2008. It is a good read with some good pics. Thought some of you might like revisiting this blast from the past.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lunas 2008

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 12:49AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I well remember that thread, KC!

Congrats on your in-home luna, but I prefer mine outside! :)

Sherry

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 10:06AM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Had a female eclose on Friday but no males showed for 3 nights so I put her in the fridge to try later. Had another female eclose, put her out last night and 2 males showed, the first one at 21:34.

April 19th is the earliest I've ever had a wild giant silk moth show up in central Ohio. 21:34 is probably the earliest time I've had a wild male show up for a calling female. The other male showed before 23:00 so I got to bring in my bird cage and go to bed. Wish it was that easy every time. OTOH, I pulled out the refrigerated female and placed her with one of the wild males. Nothing happened between them so not everything went as hoped.

KC

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 12:11PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I wish we could still post to Sherry's long luna moth thread since there is so much info there. I posted there last year that I had 2nd brood lunas eclosing on September 18th. I was never able to attract a wild male.

Well, this year, I've had 2nd brood lunas eclosing for maybe the last week. I've had at least 30 eclose but I was not attracting any wild males. I was afraid the wild ones were on a different schedule. I'm pleased to announce that at least 3 wild males showed last night and I have one pair mating. So, for the first time ever in my experience, I'll be raising 3rd brood lunas in central Ohio. I figured I would be considering how early the eclosures started this year.

KC

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 1:05PM
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caterwallin

KC, Congrats on your mating lunas. I can imagine that it keeps you very busy trying to keep all of those hungry mouths fed.

I'm including the link to Sherry's Luna Moth caterpillar thread from several years ago. I think too that there's a lot of good information there and have it saved in my favorites to refer back to if I ever get a chance to raise any.

Cathy

Here is a link that might be useful: Sherry's Luna Moths

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 4:25PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Yay Lunas! What a great moth. All of mine have mad cocoons. I have them outside to take advantage of the cool nights. Our days are still real hot though and I am waiting to see what they will do.
-Elisabeth

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 5:34PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

My daughter's monarch butterfly boots were muddy so my wife stuck them in the sink in the moth room a couple days ago. I decided to clean them up tonight. Grabbed the scrub brush but it was stuck to the counter behind the faucet. Pulled harder and realized the problem. Some caterpillar had made a cocoon between the counter and the brush. Figured poly but no, it's a luna. Cool thing is the silk is white, matching the brush bristles. So, if you were wondering, you now know lunas can make their silk different shades if necessary.

One less moth that will be surprising me in my house this spring.

And, yes, we don't use that scrub brush much. :)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 1:44AM
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