|Luna moth, Actias luna|
I took some pics with my iPhone, then we gently scooped him up and brought him home. We placed him on the old cherry tree out back and I took some more shots.
|The male has the remarkable fan-like antenna.|
I had never seen a Luna moth in the wild, not that the thriving metropolis of Pinckney, Michigan is all that wild (though there is a park across the street from where we found him). I'd only seen one once in a butterfly house and that really doesn't count.
I took photos from every angle.
I know next to nothing about these creatures so I found the University of Florida's website with lots of good info and photos--you can check it out here. What I knew was that they don't have mouth parts--that's right, the moth does not eat, so it is fairly short lived. They have to breed and lay eggs in a hurry. What I did learn is that they prefer forested areas, only produce one generation a year in the north, and that the larvae feeds on a variety of trees including walnut, hickory and sumac, all of which we have on the property.
|The colors! And furry like a newborn baby.|
|The delicate tail|
Once we'd taken our share of photos we moved him to the front of the house and put him on a potted plant, where we hopped he'd be less conspicuous. He was gone within an hour, having either flown off or been gobbled up by a bird. But what a treat to have been able to see one so close.