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Moths of North America
American Moon moth
Actias luna  LINNAEUS, 1758

Superfamily - BOMBYCOIDEA

Family - SATURNIIDAE
subfamily - SATURNIINAE
Tribe -
Actias luna, USA  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
There are 11 species in the genus Actias, found variously in North America, temperate Asia and the tropics of south-east Asia. All species are pale green. The crescent-shaped ocelli on the forewings are linked in luna and several other Actias species to the costa by a short bar. The hindwings have circular ocelli and are adorned with long tails.
Actias luna occurs across the eastern states of the USA, and also in Mexico and Guatemala.
Habitats
This species is found in deciduous and mixed forests.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplants include Betula, Rhus, Carya, Juglans, Diospyrus and Liquidambar. The cocoon is formed on the ground among leaf litter.
Adult behaviour
The adult moth usually emerges in late afternoon, and expands its wings in 3 distinct phases, first the forewings reach full expansion, then the hindwings, and finally the tails. Prior to expanding the tails the moth always readjusts its position such that the tails naturally droop with a twist.
 

 

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