Monday, 4 October 2010

Lunar Moth Research - Anatomy Project

The Lunar Moth goes through different stages of it life cycle, to become a fully grown adult. Lunar moths start to appear around March. They have two to three generations per year.
 Like other Moth’s, it starts off as an egg. The eggs hatch at around 10 days after and a caterpillar is created, this stage is known as Lava. They start off as a caterpillar. As the caterpillar gets older, its face starts to take a darker form, and grow larger. They go through five stages, which are known as Instars. They grow to around 2 ½ inches long.

Then the caterpillar will then become a pupa. It forms a cocoon, by spinning silk from near its mouth. It uses a leaf to wrap around it. They usually stay like this for around two to three weeks, in spring and summer time. In winter, they stay in the cocoon and hatch in the beginning of spring.
The Lunar Moth, once it has completed its metamorphosis into an adult, has pale green wings. The edges of the wings are purple, and on the wings they have eye-spots.

The size of an adult Luna Moth wing span generally ranges from 75mm to 105mm (2.95 to 4.13in).

Colours/ Description
The wings are light green. They have translucent eyespots.
The forewings are pink-purple or yellow.
The antennae are feathered. Male antennae are more feathery.

Luna Moth’s can be found in North America. They tend to live in deciduous hardwood forests. 

Lunar Moths don’t have mouths. When they are in caterpillar form they eat leaves from different trees such as; walnut, hickory, sweet gum and birch. 

What do they do in life?
As a caterpillar, its main aim is to start eating straight away.  This is because an adult lunar moth doesn’t have a mouth. It will live for a week when it departs the cocoon. The main aim for it is to mate, to continue the species.

How do they move?
When they first exit a cocoon, they climb up a tree. The aim of this is to enable it to hang upside down to allow blood to fill up the wings. They climb up to the tree to enable the wings to harden, with the body fluids running through them. 

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