Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
The hindwings have long curving tails. The wings are pale green, each with a transparent eyespot.
Pink or brown on outer margin in southen spring brood; yellow in northern and other southern broods. (1)
Larva lime-green with pink spots and weak subspiracular stripe on abdomen. Yellow lines cross the larva's back near the back end of each segment (compare Polyphemus moth caterpillars, which have yellow lines crossing at spiracles). Anal proleg edged in yellow.(2)
In the United States this species has been found in every state east of the Great Plains
Deciduous hardwood forests
One brood in the north, May-July. Three broods in the south, March-September. (1)
Adult Luna moths do not eat; their only object is to reproduce.
The caterpillars eat a variety of trees including white birch (Betula papyrifera), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), hickories (Carya), walnuts (Juglans), pecans, and sumacs (Rhus).
The adults have a life span of only about one week.
Coccoons are concealed in leaf litter. (1)
Life cycle images:
eggs; early instar larvae; older larvae; prepupal larva; pupa; cocoon; newly emerged adult; adult male
Larvae of Polyphemus Moth
are similar but lack subspiracular stripe and have diagonal lines crossing at spiracles.
Covell, p. 49, plate 1, #6, plate 2, #4, and plate 9, #8 (1)