M is for Moth – Moon Moth
Photo by © John Saxon on Flikr.
The luna moth lives in North America. It is a beautiful, huge, pale-green moth, 4.2 inches across, but is seldom seen as it only flies at night.
Caterpillars feed on a variety of plants including walnut, birch, alder and, rather appropriately, Moonflower leaves.
The moth makes and hatches from a very thin, one layer of silk cocoon – it is quite active in this cocoon, and can wriggle and make a noise to deter predators.
It hatches in the morning and waits all day for its wings to dry, and at nightfall flies off to find a mate.
Luna moths do not eat during this phase of their lives, and have no mouth. They only live a few days.
The females release a chemical pheromone into the air – the males can smell this over great distances and are very single-minded about following the scent back to the female – she mates with the first one who reaches her.
Soon after mating or laying eggs the moths die.
Photo © John Saxon.
Poem © Liz Brownlee.
Information from Wiki.
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