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Luna Moth (Actias luna)

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Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Saturniidae (sa-tur-NEE-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Actias
Species: luna (loo-na) (Info)

Profile:

36 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Regional...

This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Lillian, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Wetumpka, Alabama
Deer, Arkansas
Hope, Arkansas
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Canterbury, Connecticut
Mansfield Center, Connecticut
Middletown, Connecticut
Apopka, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Ocala, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida (2 reports)
Saint Augustine, Florida
Sorrento, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Barnesville, Georgia
Cataula, Georgia
Cumming, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Dawsonville, Georgia
Hull, Georgia
La Fayette, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
East Moline, Illinois
Gurnee, Illinois
Le Roy, Illinois
Litchfield, Illinois
Madison, Illinois
Millington, Illinois
Naperville, Illinois
Oakland, Illinois
Winfield, Illinois
Woodstock, Illinois
Freedom, Indiana
Muncie, Indiana
Patriot, Indiana
Valparaiso, Indiana (2 reports)
Warsaw, Indiana
Davenport, Iowa
Benton, Kentucky
Booneville, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Salvisa, Kentucky
Sebago Lake, Maine
Bishopville, Maryland
Fallston, Maryland
Windsor Mill, Maryland
Cummington, Massachusetts
Millbury, Massachusetts
Upton, Massachusetts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Brighton, Michigan
Milan, Michigan
Milford, Michigan
Florence, Mississippi
Picayune, Mississippi
Ripley, Mississippi
Fulton, Missouri
Golden City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Lowry City, Missouri
Barrington, New Hampshire
Greenville, New Hampshire
North Haverhill, New Hampshire
Northwood, New Hampshire
Marlton, New Jersey
Ballston Lake, New York
Delevan, New York
Orchard Park, New York
Southold, New York
Andrews, North Carolina
Cary, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Monroe, Ohio
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Westlake, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Alexandria, Pennsylvania
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Milton, Pennsylvania
Montoursville, Pennsylvania
New Hope, Pennsylvania
Port Royal, Pennsylvania
Prospect, Pennsylvania
Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Florence, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Butler, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee (2 reports)
Pocahontas, Tennessee
Wartburg, Tennessee
Baytown, Texas
Cameron, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Geronimo, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Mont Belvieu, Texas
Trenton, Texas
East Dorset, Vermont
Blacksburg, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Fort Valley, Virginia
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Hampton, Virginia
Ellsworth, Wisconsin

By melody
Thumbnail #1 of Luna Moth (Actias luna) by melody

By Marilynbeth

Thumbnail #2 of Luna Moth (Actias luna) by Marilynbeth

By Marilynbeth

Thumbnail #3 of Luna Moth (Actias luna) by Marilynbeth

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Thumbnail #4 of Luna Moth (Actias luna) by Magpye

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Thumbnail #6 of Luna Moth (Actias luna) by judycooksey

By Magpye

Thumbnail #7 of Luna Moth (Actias luna) by Magpye

There are a total of 89 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Member Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive melody On Jul 24, 2006, melody from Benton, KY
(Zone 7a) wrote:

Due to the increased use of pesticides to kill the caterpillar, this lovely moth is becoming quite rare. It is now considered an Endangered Species in North America. It has a wingspan reaching up to 4 1/2".

The adult moths have no functioning mouth parts and are not capable of eating, their sole purpose is to mate and die. It's range is the eastern half of the US and southern Canada.

The carerpillar eats the foliage of hickory, walnut, pecan, sweet gum, persimmon, birch and somethimes others.

Positive Marilynbeth On Nov 21, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

This Summer was the first time I saw one. DH and I were thrilled! It was on our porch light in the early morning in July and only stayed a day or two and we never saw it after that. We always leave the light on during the overnight hours and it must have been drawn to it. We hope we get to see it again next year.

Positive Maria2354 On Apr 23, 2007, Maria2354 from Fernandina Beach, FL
(Zone 8b) wrote:

I saw the Luna Moth in March 2007 in my backyard (see pics) and reported the sighting to the Butterflies and Moths of North America web site. The regional coordinator asked if I was interested in raising caterpillars of the moth since I happen to have a gum tree in my backyard. Of course I accepted. They are also setting up a tag & release program in which I would participate. It is very exiting to become an active part of a program to help endangered species.

Positive lastfireflylite On Apr 30, 2007, lastfireflylite from Palm Bay, FL wrote:

I have lived in palm bay, fl all my 28 years as a deep woods tom boy and lover of environment, snakes plants, bugs, you name it. I had heard a few "native floridian old timers" (meant in an endearing way) say they had seen them in the woods as a child, or found thier remians while help'n Pa in the yard. they then said they hadnt seen one since. I worked with Jim Angy a Professional wildlife photographer, and he said he found a set of wings a long time ago. Never had I seen or even believed I would get my hands on one muchless around 100 caterpillars! I found them on sweet gum growing in the orlando area. So my kids, the kids in my non profit group & I decided to breed the adults, and are currently organizing a web based tag and release behvioral flight tracking system with in the state of florida. As far as I know, the lunas are not listed as endangered in florida, but at the rate of decline due to habitat destruction, light pollution, pesticides, and preditors who seem to adapt just fine to environmental changes, I believe they will be endangered soon, along with my inspirational childhood favorite, the firefly. Also, just to note, even though I am the new Fl state coordinator for moths on butterfliesandmoths.org, they have no affiliation with local notions inc., the organization I started in which the raising, breeding & tag and release project is being created.

Positive mimi4neeyah On Jun 14, 2007, mimi4neeyah from Canterbury, CT
(Zone 6a) wrote:

I just saw my first one yesterday. They really are beautiful. Now I am full of questions on how to protect them if they are around here.
:-)

Positive joegee On Jun 22, 2007, joegee from Bucyrus, OH
(Zone 6a) wrote:

These are stunningly beautiful and gentle creatures. I have seen two living luna moths, and one dead one in my 41 years. It's always quite special to see one.

Positive headoctor On Aug 2, 2007, headoctor from Kansas City, MO wrote:

a few nights ago (around 11pm) my husband and I discovered one of these beautiful creatures banging into our window (our house backs to woods). We first thought it was a bat! The next morning, about 10 miles from our home, we found one struggling on a sidewalk, appearing as though it had broken a wing. Almost felt like an omen....

Positive Sheila_FW On Aug 15, 2007, Sheila_FW from Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I would never have thought I would be posting a picture of a Luna moth! Living in North Central Texas it is a really rare sighting my husband had today 8-14-07 in NW Fort Worth, Tarrant County, TX. I only wish I had seen it in person. But I do have the pictures he took!!

Positive joan30157 On Sep 12, 2007, joan30157 from Dallas, GA
(Zone 7b) wrote:

We have alot of Luna Moths this year the neighborhood kids love them I didn't realize the caterpillars ate sweet gum leaves We have alot of sweet gumsTHEY SPROUT EVERYWHERE I guess they will be easier to tolerate now.

Positive violabird On Apr 8, 2008, violabird from Barnesville, GA
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I adore the Luna Moth and am quite excited to be seeing one right now as I type! Surely this is my earliest sighting in all my years at my home--I have a 2 story house and they apparently love the light at my window screen.

I guess there is one good thing about having a lot of sweetgum trees.

Positive Norma41 On Jun 5, 2008, Norma41 from Parrott, GA wrote:

I saw this moth on my backporch on June 5. I've never seen one like it and it's absolutely beautiful. Now that I've done some research on the moth, I feel quite honored to have seen it!

Positive Glazier6 On Jul 5, 2008, Glazier6 from Bathurst
Canada wrote:

We found a Actias Luna Moth in our yard in
Pabineau First Nation, New Brunswick, Canada.
She's beautiful but is ingured and cant fly (got attacked by a dog).
She has also layed plenty of eggs and has more to come.
Any advice for us?

Positive 76kendra On Jul 24, 2008, 76kendra from Le Roy, IL wrote:

Our family was on a camping trip at Morine View State Park near our home in Leroy,IL July 15,2008 and found a luna moth caterpillar on the ground near out site. Our daughter almost stepped on it! We then put it in our bug house and he quickly cocooned. We plan to release him back to the park when he emerges. What a site!

Positive STARCROC2000 On Sep 10, 2008, STARCROC2000 from Saint Augustine, FL wrote:

AN AMAZING MOTH TO SEE. I FIRST SPOTTED ONE ON A BARN DOOR UNDER A SECURITY LIGHT IN 1986. I HADN'T SEEN ONE UNTIL RECENTLY. I WORK AT A PLANT NURSERY AND HAD A LIVE ONE TRAPPED IN THE SHADE HOUSE. OF COURSE I SENT IT ON IT'S WAY. VERY RARE SIGHTING IN ST AUGUSTINE.

Positive McCool On Dec 17, 2008, McCool from Millbury, MA
(Zone 5a) wrote:

I first saw one of these moths at our window when I was in my teens (a very long time ago) and found a dead one on our back steps. This was back in the fifties and I hadn't seen one since until this past Summer. I was walking along an interstate route in the morning and glimpsed what I first thought was a bird fluttering up in the trees, then got a better look and realized that it was a Luna moth. That really made my day --- I thought they were gone from this area for good.

Neutral Mae23 On Mar 30, 2009, Mae23 from Cameron, TX wrote:

I live in Cameron Texas. Yesterday I found a spectacular Luna Moth sitting on a brick wall by my friends house. He stated that it had been sitting there for hours. On the verge of death, I collected this gorgeous specimen and plan on pining and framing him/her. Not positive on the sex; perhaps someone can help! It's body is pure white with large, fuzzy white antennae. I never, ever thought I'd see the fantastic creature in my lifetime!!!

Positive VA_Wild_Rose On Jun 20, 2009, VA_Wild_Rose from Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a) wrote:

The "Queen of the Night" of the moth world... always a spectacular sight to see in person, no matter how young or old you are! Caterpillars feed on a variety of hardwood trees, but most prevalently on Sweet Gum in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Positive LadyAshleyR On Jun 24, 2009, LadyAshleyR from Oakland, MD wrote:

The luna moth is not considered an endangered species.
Apparently there have been some mistakes in guides and such.

http://butterflywebsite.com/articles/bgq/LunaMoth.htm

Quote:
"I asked Dave Winter, co-author with his wife, Jo Brewer, of Butterflies and Moths: A Companion to Your Field Guide, about a 1980 field-guide reference to the Luna as an endangered species. He replied, "In the Northeast at that time, there was an impression that Lunas and other giant silk moths had declined significantly--perhaps due to pesticides or to distraction of male moths to mercury-vapor lights along highways and in parking lots. This was never quantified, and at the same time various rural observers saw no significant decline. These concerns seem to have subsided. Pesticide use is down, and more night lighting is being switched to sodium lights, which are less expensive to run and far less attractive to moths.""

Neutral Lunamoth12 On Oct 15, 2009, Lunamoth12 from Tulsa, OK wrote:

I found one of those at work (Tulsa, Oklahoma) didnt know what it was, so i researched it, found out it would turn into a Luna moth, also found out its endangered.

The lil guy is at my house now wrapping himself in silk inside a paper towel. Am i suppose to give it to some local association that deals with endangered species or what?

Positive WUVIE On Apr 18, 2010, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK
(Zone 7a) wrote:

A beautiful moth we enjoy on occasion. These beautiful moths are so intriguing, seemingly mystical. It is no wonder they are chosen for sleep aid commercials, as they even seem to be part of a dream.

Gorgeous!

Positive Jersey_Girl On May 7, 2010, Jersey_Girl from Atlanta, GA wrote:

Could not believe my eyes. Saw one of these beautiful creatures clinging to a pole in our office parking garage in the middle of Buckhead (Atlanta, GA). He/she has been there 5 days.

Positive didato On May 12, 2010, didato wrote:

I found a dead luna moth on my deck in Middletown,CT. I think it's the largest moth i've ever seen....i had to take pictures it is so beautiful.

Positive triccer On May 17, 2010, triccer from Allentown, PA wrote:

I'm live Allentown, Pa and came home from from vacation this past week to find one of these luna moths on the brick veneer above my front door. I have never seen a moth of this size, and the color is extrodinary. Found it to be interesting in searching about the moth on the web. I'm trying to figure out how I can post a couple pictures I took of the moth.

Positive sumhott21 On Jun 8, 2010, sumhott21 from Delevan, NY wrote:

I woke up this morning finding a Luna moth on my porch.They are beautiful and its the first time i have ever seen one.Im taking it into my kids school to show them and we are goin to release him there.

Positive themikeman On Jul 28, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC
(Zone 7a) wrote:

I have always loved these moths since i was a kid and always wished i could find one. a friend of mine when i was a teenager found one with me in upstate ny and kept it. now that im an adult and i live in north carolina this year was lucky for me and i must have done something good for someone cause ive found two!!!. one in kmarts parking lot after a storm that is a large male in great condition, and one last spring in my backyard near my mulch pile thats in poor condition and is alot smaller, i think its a female..peace. mike

Positive sandkisses On Oct 3, 2010, sandkisses from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL wrote:

I was thrilled to find information at Dave's Garden on what was first thought to be just another pesky plant eater. This morning I was examining my ailing bougainvillea, when I suddenly felt something crawling up my arm. I looked down to find a bright green caterpillar and knew this had to be what was munching on my plant. After placing him on a leaf, I headed to my computer for further research and was pleasantly surprised to find out he would become a Luna moth. After closer inspection of my bougainvilleas, I found numerous luna caterpillars in various stages of development. I have no intention of spraying and am looking forward to watching them grow. If I am lucky, I might even get a few good photos.

Positive jjztmg On May 31, 2011, jjztmg from Cicero, NY wrote:

I saw a Luna Moth in Emerald Lake State Park while camping this past weekend. I saw the list of places they are found and did not see VT, I wanted to let everyone know that its there as well. I have never seen anything like it! Absolutely beautiful! I hope I have the opportunity to see them again...I had no idea they are so rare and cherish the the fact that I got to see one. I did take a couple of pictures but, unfortunately, the camera on my phone is not the best, so they don't show up very well.

Positive winfield33 On Jun 24, 2011, winfield33 from Winfield, IL wrote:

I pulled into our driveway today in Winfield, Ill., and saw what I thought was a leaf on the garage door. As I got closer I was amazed by this creature, later to find out it was a luna moth. It's a beautiful creature and it has been fun to read more about the species.

Positive Nonni_A On Jul 5, 2011, Nonni_A from Port Royal, PA wrote:

June 22, 2011 I discovered a Luna Moth clinging to our garage door. I was in a bit of a hurry to leave so I took a few pictures with my cell phone. I wish his coloring would have turned out nicer in the picture though. I didn't know what it was at the time until I found this page! I had never seen anything like it before! We live on the side of a mountain in the forest in PA. I'm always excited when I find new creatures! Thanks for have your site!

Positive mmackrell On Jul 5, 2011, mmackrell from Prospect, PA wrote:

I saw this moth for the first time yesterday, July 4, around 7:30 pm. We got home and it was hanging on the chimes near the kitchen door. It went down on the deck and acted like it was hurt. Got some good pics, will upload them.

Positive jnadaly On Aug 19, 2011, jnadaly from Millington, IL wrote:

Like several others have posted, we thought this gorgeous visitor was a small bird batting against our basement window! I have never seen a giant moth of any kind and was fascinated and curious about it! My son snapped some gorgeous pictures of it. After reading the posts, we also feel really honored that we got to see this beautiful species up so close!

Positive John_Kotulski On Mar 21, 2012, John_Kotulski from LaFayette, GA wrote:

On 20March2012 at around 9:00 P.M. I opened my back door to let my dog in and this moth flew into my house. It flew around quickly and came to a stop on the wall. After taking a few pictures I used a large jar to catch the moth. I then released it outside. I had never seen one before and from what I've read I may not see one again.

Positive Tinytot On Jun 11, 2012, Tinytot from NORTH HAVERHILL, NH wrote:

I first saw a male luna moth last week and did not know what it was, so I called my mother to find out! She was correct it was a luna moth. At about 3 am est this morning i saw a female luna moth. They are quite the sight to see! This is the first time that I have seen them. We have a lot of regular oak trees and a few white oak trees surrounding our property.

Positive Dosetaker On Jun 17, 2012, Dosetaker from Mason, NH
(Zone 5b) wrote:

Did not realize how rare these are till reading these comments. I see these wonderful moths every year here in Southern New Hampshire.

Positive redstag On Jun 21, 2012, redstag from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

I was sitting in my barn late last night with the lights on n the doors open when in flys "tinkerbell" I swear this thing looked like a lil fairy. It landed by the lights n a ran n got the camera. Never seen one in my life of34 yrs.awesome looking specimen!

Positive JohnyB On Aug 3, 2013, JohnyB from East Ridge, TN wrote:

Sighted one while Fishing at Harrison Bay and was surprised to see a nother on the Window at a Fast Food Joint in East Ridge TN. I hope this means they are regaining numbers !

Positive katsdancin On Aug 12, 2013, katsdancin from Raleigh, NC wrote:

August 12, 2013 - Found one waiting for me on my screened porch this morning! First sighting in my 58 years on Earth. The actual body and antennae are just as beautiful as the wings. Amazingly beautiful creature!

Positive sandy0225 On Jul 21, 2014, sandy0225 from Muncie, IN
(Zone 5b) wrote:

It's so beautiful, it's only the second one I've ever seen here in living here 25 years. It hasn't moved since I saw it, I hope it has been able to reproduce, we do have a couple of their host trees, persimmon and walnut in our yard.


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