This is what we saw out of the upstairs window. Stuck to a piece of the house facing North. It appears to be a Luna Moth. Does it look like a Luna Moth to you? It was also one of those full circle moments as well. First a little about luna moths. Actias luna, commonly known as the Luna Moth, is a lime-green moth in the subfamily Saturniinae. It has a wingspan of up to four and a half inches, making it one of the largest moths in North America.
Based on the climate in which they live, the Luna Moths produce differing numbers of generations. In Canada and northern regions, they can live up to 7 days and will produce only one generation per year. These reach adulthood from early June to early July. In the northeastern United States around Connecticut, the moths produce two generations each year. The first of these appear in April and May and the second group can be seen approximately nine to eleven weeks later. In the southern United States, there can be as many as three generations. These are spaced every eight to ten weeks beginning in March.
When my brother and I were little boys in Iowa, my parents used to take us camping every weekend. We had a nice fold-down camper and used to rent a space at a place called Roberts Creek. Lots of families in their campers meant lots of fun for us over the weekend. There was boating, there were bonfires, there was fishing and then there were the Mason boys. The Mason boys were older and obsessed with butterfly and moth collecting. My brother and I helped them catch butterflies and moths so they could mount them in shadow boxes. They had quite a collection. To this day, I remember my parents letting us stay up late so that we could rub sugar water all over walnut trees and return the next morning hoping that the area would be infested by Luna Moths. To our dismay, there wasn’t a Luna Moth in site, but I never forgot the Mason brothers stories and pictures of these magnificent moths. In fact, their stories made the moths sound so big that we were a little afraid of what we might see if they had come that sugary and cold morning. I never saw one then or ever…until today. It’s taken 40 years for one to show itself to me.
This is another example of when Nature does something that you never saw coming. You have to really be in the moment to catch something so spectacular sitting on your house siding. The Mason brothers would be proud. I’m glad I can finally say I have seen such a magnificent moth. Do you think this is a Luna Moth and, if not, what is it?