LUNA MOTH

I woke up this morning to find this beauty resting on my windowsill.

According to the National Audubon Society, even though they are fairly common over their geographic range, they are a rare find due to the fact that their lifespan is only about a week and they are nocturnal creatures. I am lucky to see one almost every year since my house is situated right in the middle of it’s favored habitat, the deciduous forest. They generally emerge from their egg in the morning and find a place to rest and hang through the day to allow its wings to inflate with its blood before flying off at night to seek a mate.  I guess this one felt my window was a perfect resting place.

An interesting fact is that because they only live for about 7 days, their only function is to procreate.  Therefore, they have no mouth or digestive organs.

I had to leave around 9am, but he was still here when I got home a little after 2pm.  (I say “he” because the male has fuller antennae and I don’t think they could get much bigger than this.)  Tippy did investigate, but she didn’t bother it.

lunar moth
It almost looks like he is saying, “Help me!  Let me in!”

I cropped the picture so you can get a closer look at his underside. If you compare the antennae from this morning, you can tell that he filled out a lot during the day.

IMG_20190425_143035
From the other side

He’s an odd looking, fluffy creature that you want to hug and run away from all at once.  If you took away the wings, it would make a perfect urban legend monster.  Or maybe a mutant zombie Olaf?  What do you think it looks like?

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “LUNA MOTH

  1. Wow! We live nowhere near it’s favored habitat, so I appreciate the pictures and facts. I find it a bit disconcerting that it doesn’t eat, but only “reproduces.” Wow. I wonder what niche it filled in the local ecological system?

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    1. I’m sure they have some spot in the food chain. Bats like to eat them. As a defense, they swirl those long wing “tails” and it seems to confuse the bat echolocation long enough for the moth to escape being eaten. I couldn’t quickly find a number, but I do know that there are other species that don’t eat as adults. The reason for that is a question for God, I suppose.

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    1. Bats will eat them. I read their defense is to spin the tails of their wingtips in circles which messes up the bats echolocation long enough for them to escape. Owls and some hornets also prey on them.

  2. What a lovely thing to find on your window sill. I have never seen anything like it. As you say, that are native to your area . I can’t think what it looks like, I have nothing to match it with.

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