Learning About Luna Moths

Giant Moths Are Not Available in 2017.

Care Info: Giant Moths

Luna Moth Care

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• Unpack your cocoon and soak it in tepid (room temperature) water for 60 seconds.
• Place your cocoon in a mesh insect house or any enclosed container at least 11 inches high by 11 inches in diameter. Your cocoon may wriggle a bit.
• Place a small branch or stick in your house to give your moth a place to hang once it has emerged.
• Spray cocoon lightly with tepid water every other day. A plant sprayer with a fine mister works well for this. Don’t let your cocoon get too wet. Make sure that it isn’t sitting in a puddle.
• The moth will emerge from the cocoon within two to four weeks. Release it in a dark or shady place a day or two after it emerges.

About the Luna Moth

The luna moth (Actias luna) is common in woodlands of the United States and Canada east of the Great Plains. This beautiful, velvety green moth has wingspans of 2: to 4. inches. Each wing has a transparent “eye spot” and is rimmed with pink or yellow. The luna moth’s body is large, pure white and fuzzy. Its antennae are large and feathery.

The luna moth caterpillar is large, yellow-green and fuzzy. It feeds on birch, persimmon, sweet gum, hickory, walnut or sumac leaves. The adult luna moth has no mouth and no digestive tract. It lives for only a few days (4 to 10 in captivity) and spends the energy it stored as a caterpillar on reproduction.

 


Polyphemus Moth Care

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• Unpack your cocoon and place it in a mesh insect house or any enclosed container at least 11 inches high by 11 inches in diameter. Your cocoon may wriggle a bit.
• Place a small branch or stick in your house to give your moth a place to hang once it has emerged.
• Spray the cocoon lightly with tepid (room temperature) water every day. Spray more often if room humidity is low. A plant sprayer with a fine mister works well for this. Don’t let your cocoon get too wet. Make sure that it isn’t sitting in a puddle.
• It may take two to several weeks for the moth to emerge.
• Release your moth in a dark or shady place a day or two after it emerges.

About the Polyphemus Moth

The polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) is common in woodlands of the United States and Canada. Its name comes from the Greek myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus and refers to the large eyespots on the hind wings. Polyphemus is one of our larger moths, having a wing spread of 3 to almost 6 inches.

The polyphemus moth caterpillar grows to almost 4 inches long and is bright green. They feed on the leaves of a variety of trees including oak, willow, birch and maple. The adult polyphemus moth does not feed. It lives for only a few days (4 to 10 in captivity). Captive polyphemus moths seldom breed; however, breeding will sometimes occur if fresh oak leaves are placed in their cage.

Simple Science: Giant Moths

Get ready to learn more about your moth!


Luna Moth Life Cycle

Simple Science: Luna Moth Life Cycle

How does a luna moth get from an egg to an adult flying insect? Read about the different stages of a luna moth’s growth. Then students can color, cut and create their own version of the life cycle.
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Luna Moth Facts

Simple Science: Luna Moth Fun Facts

Did you know that an adult luna moth has no mouth? It’s true! Odd, interesting and humorous facts about luna moths, plus a quiz sheet for testing your new knowledge.
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Observe & Describe a Luna Moth

Simple Science: Observe and Describe a Luna Moth

Students build scientific skills by carefully looking at a newly emerged moth and recording observations.
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Comparing Moths & Butterflies

Simple Science: Comparing Moths and Butterflies

Do you know the difference between moths and butterflies? This worksheet and answer key will give you the right answers.
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Fun Stuff: Giant Moths

Have a little fun with your moth knowledge!


Luna Coloring

Fun Stuff: Luna Moth Coloring

Color in this drawing of a beautiful luna moth standing with its wings open wide. A sheet just for coloring fun.
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Luna Word Search

Fun Stuff: Luna Moth Word Search

Get ready for a challenge—here’s a word search that will keep you looking for words related to the luna moth.
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Polyphemus Moth Coloring

Fun Stuff: Polyphemus Moth Coloring

With crayons and markers, color in this drawing of a beautiful polyphemus moth stands with its wings open wide. A sheet just for coloring fun.
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Photos: Giant Moths

Luna moth eggsLuna caterpillar eating a leaf
Luna moth hatching from an eggLuna caterpillar, still tiny
Lots of luna moths eating a leafTwo large luna caterpillars
Cocoon and pupa of a luna mothLuna emerging from its pupa
Newly hatched luna moth, note wingsLuna moth filling out its wings
Luna moth restingLuna moth ready to fly




photos used by permission of postal_crazylegs - facepunch.com/threads/822445

Videos: Giant Moths

Videos courtesy of postal123.

Luna moth caterpillars hatching

Luna moth caterpillar eating

Luna moth hatching from its cocoon

Luna moth emerging from its cocoon

Timelapse: Luna moths fill out their wings

 

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