Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Luna moths - take two

I was welcomed by two more luna moths yesterday when I arrived home from work. A beautiful female appeared to have emerged earlier in the day, and a handsome male had just emerged minutes before I walked in the door, so I was able to see and photograph his crumpled wings being unfurled.  I should note that these individuals have all been around the average size for luna moths (4 inches), but the two that I had a few years ago were much smaller (2.5 to 3 inches), so it is fun to see such large, luminescent beauties clinging to my hand.  I've always been fascinated with luna moths ever since I first saw pictures of them, and I never tire of how exquisite they are, right down to their lilac-colored legs.
There is one more luna to eclose (the term for adults emerging from the pupa, "hatch" technically only applies to larvae hatching from eggs).  See my earlier blog entry for the other moths that have yet to make an appearance.
Notice that the female's antennae are much less feathered than the males.  They do not need to detect scents as much as males, who use their antennae to find the females. The female's abdomen is also much larger, as she is carrying 150-250 eggs.  Remember to click on photos to see full view.


1 comment:

  1. These are GORGEOUS!!! I've always loved Luna Moths, and fondly remember seeing one in the wild on a Bank of America ATM in Norman a few years back. Haven't seen another once since, but also haven't been looking!