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Old 11-16-2012, 04:30 PM
 
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Does this color show up best in moon light?


Lunar Moth - YouTube
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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Described and named (as Phalena plumata caudata) by Petiver in 1700, the luna moth was the first North American saturniid to be reported in the literature (Tuskes et al. 1996). The original Latin name of the luna moth which referred to the long tails was lost when Linnaeus converted the name to a binomial with the specific epithet luna in 1758.

The family name Saturniidae is based on the eyespots of some members of the family that contain concentric rings reminiscent of the planet Saturn (Powell 2003). The luna moth gets its name from its moon-like spots.

Luna caterpillars gain protection from predators by their cryptic green coloration.
luna moth - Actias luna (Linnaeus)
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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The green color is a good camouflage for the Luna moth as it lets it blend in with the leaves of trees..... making it harder for predators to find it.

I saw on the net where the spots on the Luna moth were thought to resemble the moon.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:51 PM
 
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Yes green does act as a camouflage, but since the moth is in it's final stage of life which is very short, maybe the green is actually more visible to the moths for mating reason in the low light of the moon. Not sure just speculating.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Narcissus23 View Post
Yes green does act as a camouflage, but since the moth is in it's final stage of life which is very short, maybe the green is actually more visible to the moths for mating reason in the low light of the moon. Not sure just speculating.
That could be a part of the picture... possibly in spotting the mate?

Quote:
The adults are strongly attracted to light – particularly UV wavelengths. There has been some concern that light pollution from man-made sources (particularly mercury vapor street lights) may deter lunas and other silk moths from mating and have a negative impact on their populations in urban areas (Worth and Muller 1979).
Pheromones also play a role.

Quote:
Males are strong fliers and may disperse over relatively long distances. Females release a sex-attractant pheromone and may attract males from a distance. Mating usually takes place during the first couple of hours after midnight.
luna moth - Actias luna (Linnaeus)
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