Sunday, October 25, 2009

Luna Moth

Luna moths (Actias luna) reside in hardwood forests, their caterpillars especially love butternut, yellow birch, and beech trees. They are members of the giant silk moth family (Saturniidae) but unravelling a cocoon for silken thread would doom the chrysalid. The true, domesticated, mulberry-leaf-eating silkworms of China belong to a different family of moths. Luna moths lack mouths and digestive tracts, and live for only a week on wingspans of 10cm. They fly only at night. The moons on their wings are believed to resemble eyes and used to intimidate predators. It is like a treasure to know "chrysalid" derives from the Greek word for "gold."

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