Difference Between Male & Female Lunar Moths

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The lunar moth, more commonly known as the luna moth, with its green color and long sweeping tail of the hind wing, is one of the largest moths in North America. It is a wild silk moth and considered an endangered species due to its dwindling numbers. There are subtle differences between the males and females.

Pupal Differences

  • A female pupa is identified by two longitudinal grooves on the ventral, or top, surface of the abdomen.

Time of Pupation

  • A male luna moth will come out of pupation days before a female, usually in the morning, to allow the wings to dry for flight that night.

Adult Differences

  • Adult males and females are roughly the same size, shape and color. The males are distinguished by antennae with more feathering.

Behavior

  • A male luna moth is a more powerful flyer and is seen flying more. The female will sit in one spot and emit a pheromone to attract the male. This is referred to as calling.

Habitat

  • Though the males and females share the same types of habitat, the female is more likely to be found on a host plant. She will lay her eggs on the leaves of the plant and will also call from there to attract a male.

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