With its big green wings, the luna moth is often thought to be one of the most beautiful creatures seen in nature.
Like butterflies, luna moths emerge from a cocoon that was spun by the moth when it was in its caterpillar form. The luna moth caterpillar is bright green in color, while the moth is more pale green. The moths are almost entirely green except for a purplish-brown band at the edge of their wings and four small spots — one on each wing.
Here are more fun facts about these beautiful creatures.
Luna moths don’t eat! They don’t even have a mouth! Because they cannot eat, they only live for about one week.
These moths are named for the moon. Luna is another word for moon, and each of the four spots on a luna moth’s wings are said to look like the moon.
These moths prefer forest habitats. As caterpillars, before they become moths, they eat the leaves of many different types of trees.
Luna moths have long tails extending from their wings. They can use these tails to trick predators which include bats. The moths swing the tails around to confuse the bats, and then they are able to fly away.
The luna moth is bigger than most moths. Its wings can be 4½ inches wide – wider than your hand!
Luna moths are nocturnal, which means they are active at night. These moths are not usually seen during daylight. Most moths are nocturnal.
Many moths are attracted to light, and luna moths are too. At night, you can often see them around artificial light, such as porch lights.
Luna moths only live in the United States and southern Canada. They are only found in the eastern United States, but they live as far north as Maine and as far south as Florida.