Luna Moths At The Cottage

How would you like to be standing in your cottage kitchen in your underwear, in the middle of the night, enjoying a midnight snack of Froot Loops, and look out your cottage window and see this pair of eyes staring back at you???

This is a “Luna Moth” actually a “Actias luna” and he is a lime-green, Nearctic Saturniid moth in the subfamily Saturniinae.(for those of you technically minded readers) Apparently they are not exactly long livers. According to Wilkipedia, “In Canada and northern regions, luna moths live up to 7 days and will produce only one generation per year. These reach adulthood from early June to early July. In the northeastern United States around New Jersey or New York, the moths produce two generations each year.”

So the little fellow looking at me was probably on borrowed time, too bad he had to spend it staring at a middle aged man in his jockey shorts eating Froot Loops….he did get his picture taken for posterity though. Luna Moths are actually a very beautiful green creature, and quite big.

I have seen some of them on the cottage in the morning, it seems they like it around our place.

That brings up the question, ‘why are moths attracted to lights?’ and to be honest, I cannot tell you the answer, because I have no idea.

The internet is full of theories, some do to with confusing a light for the moon which they use to navigate and fly straight, others suggest that the light fools the nocturnal moth into thinking the sun is out, so he stops to sleep for the day.

Others suggest that it might have something to do with with what is called the Mach Band, the area around a light that is actually darker than anywhere else.

They get caught up flying in the dark band around the light, and eventually either get out of it, or end up tired out and settle down somewhere like on the side of your cottage.

I’m not sure I believe or understand any of the theories and therefore I am can’t tell you why moths are attracted to light. However, I think the little feller in the picture seemed to want some of my cereal…..

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6 thoughts on “Luna Moths At The Cottage”

  1. With the reflection of your flash in the moth's eyes it sure looks a bit creepy. I had one at our camp in the Adirondacks, what lovely colors and markings on a Luna moth.

  2. Cedar, you are right, the flash made his eyes kind of creepy.
    Knatolee, you need to come back to Nova Scotia, that's where we are!

  3. That's amazing.
    I've never seen anything like that in my life… until last week.
    Two weeks ago, I purchased one of those bug zappers at Crappy Tire and hung it on our shed. Apparently, the new light did the trick because last weekend, on the rock next to the shed, there was one of those "Luna Moths" all spread out.
    I had no idea what it was called until your post. My daughter called it Tinkerbell because of the green and pink colour of it.
    I have some great shots of it on my camera (which is at work). I'll post them tomorrow.

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