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A Luna Moth Sighting ... What A Find!
I couldn't believe I discovered this Luna coming out of
the cocoon. Being the third Luna I've seen on the property
I will take this as a little farewell present from Nature's Way.
Luna moths are native to North America, and not so much rare as secretive.
These are forest-dwelling, night-flying, short-lived moths.
Adults emerge from pupa in late May to mid-June.
The adults do not feed, hence are never seen flitting from
flower to flower, and live for only about a week, their sole purpose - besides beauty -
being to mate before dying. In northern states the cycle from egg hatching to
egg laying takes a year, with only the last week spent as a winged adult.
The males use their intricately branched antennae to detect scent
pheromones released by females. The detection system is so sensitive that a male
in flight can detect the presence of just a few molecules in the air.
He will then immediately turn and fly upwind into the mild night wind,
traveling miles on her intensifying scent steam until he finds
her perched on a tree branch. Each male and female mate once
(a process that takes several hours). The female will deposit several hundred
fertilized eggs over the next 2-3 nights.
According to one Internet posting (its source unattributed) Luna moths
are associated with intuition, psychic perception and increased awareness.