Thursday, August 13, 2009

Luna Moth

I found this newly emerged Luna Moth yesterday evening. The wings are still expanding and are at that extremely vulnerable stage. Too much disturbance now and this moth may never fly.

This is a female, as evidenced by the smaller antennae. Male antennae are much more plume-like and are used to track the pheromone trail to a female.

Several hundred eggs may be produced by this female. I hope they all get placed in suitable locations. Numbers of large silkworm moths are declining here as more people place all-night security lights near their homes. I’ve read that these lights attract the moths from a great distance and may eliminate all moth populations within a mile of the light.

I can’t decide if this looks more like a table lamp or a jelly fish. The color and shape reminds me of fragile antiques.

I hope this Luna doesn’t become a tasty treat for a hungry Cardinal. Cardinals tend to forage later into the evening than a lot of your daytime feeders. I’ve see a lot of these moths get eaten as they begin to move around in the evening shadows.

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