June 11 (Monday): Image #162

When I went to start my car this morning, this was on my hood---a Luna Moth (Actias luna)! These babies are amazing, and here is the lowdown. As a caterpillar, it goes through 5 different exoskeletons (called instars, for you scientific geeks), all of which are bright green. Finally, it spins a cocoon and "pupates" for two weeks, at which time this beautiful moth emerges. It always emerges in the morning, and when first hatched, it climbs to a "safe" spot until its wings harden and it can fly away. Hence, the reason it was sitting on my hood this morning and didn't fly away when I came out--it couldn't because its wings weren't stable enough. Final fact--as a moth, it has no mouth because it doesn't eat! Its only function is to reproduce and lay eggs, and it better do it quick, because it only lives for seven (7) days!


Denise said...

Yes, another comment. Noah and I thank you for taking care of our science lesson for today. Even as I sit here typing he is correcting my grammar. sheesh!
He wants to know what "sheesh" means :-)
So did you remove it from the hood of the car? Did you go on with your day without concern for it's short life?
Noah wants to know.

glassgirl said...

Willik enjoyed seeing the Luna Moth. He stated that it was nocturnal. He said that most of that was the same for the butterfly, which he just finished studying about at school. the kept 5 catterpillars and analized their growth and change, and then released them. Only one didn't make it.

TonyB said...

I enjoyed seeing the Luna Moth as well as the science lesson. I haven't been able to take a nap or relax until I know that you didn't drive off and kill this mouthless, reproducing, egg laying pupate, blood sucking, eyeball licking, night flying, 25 foot wingspan... moth. Did you kill it? Huh, did ya?

Filatore said...

Of course I didn't kill it. I fully support the Luna Moth in its efforts to reproduce. As a matter of fact, I carried it around the yard and helped it look for a female for 10-15 minutes.

When that didn't work, I put up a sign at the end of our road that read "Male Luna Moth--Ready to Reproduce. Only 6 days Left!"

If all else fails, I am taking out a personal ad on Craig's List.

If the truth be told, I'm not really sure if it is a male or female. . .