Q:

What do Luna Moths eat?

A:

As adults, Luna Moths do not feed. They must rely on the food they stored as caterpillars in order to survive long enough to reproduce.

Luna Moth caterpillars eat almost any kind of tree leaf like the persimmon and white birch leaf. Like butterflies, they eat as much as they can when they are caterpillars to prepare them for the metamorphosis that will turn them into large, spectacular Luna Moths.

Because a Luna Moth doesn't feed, it has a very short lifespan, only living for about a week. Once a Luna Moth has come out of its chrysalis and its wings have dried, females begin searching for a mate. In order to reproduce, a female releases a chemical to attract a male. The pair mate after midnight and the female then lays her eggs. A female Luna Moth lays around 200 eggs in small groups. The eggs hatch, releasing bright green caterpillars that once again begin the cycle for these short-lived moths.

Luna Moths are some of the largest moths in the United States. This species can be found in North America and its range extends from the Great Plains to northern Mexico. They reach adulthood from early June to early July. They have long tails and eye spots on all four wings and a wingspan of more than 4 inches.


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