Chinese Luna Moth (Actias dubernardi)
Chinese luna moth, or Chinese moon moth as it is popularly known, is a part of the Saturniidae family, mostly found in China.
Description and Identification
When newly hatched, it has black hairs and goes through four molts throughout the larval phase. It is black in the first instar attaining a reddish-brown hue as it eventually grows. The larva turns orange-brown in the second instar. As it reaches the third instar, it becomes green with stripes of white and silver or gold markings on its tubercles’ edges. A fully grown larva is 6 – 7.5 cm long, with pine trees being its primary food source. The silken cocoon they weave among the pine needles or moss is mostly brown.
They have a length of about 3.5 cm taking approximately four weeks to develop into an adult. This duration might alter a little depending on temperature conditions and humidity.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present
The males appear leaner than the females with a longer and more elegant-looking tail.
Color and Appearance
Forewings: They have colorful wings, which, when opened in males, the wings appear yellow with bright pink on the edges. In females, on the other hand, it attains a pale green coloration. When closed, the coloration remains the same.
The flowing tails extending from their hindwings have a greenish-pink hue, longer than their wingspan.
Average Wingspan: 8 – 12 cm
Flight Pattern: Not recorded
The oval-shaped whitish-gray eggs are 0.15 cm long and 0.10 cm wide. They mostly remain confined to the branches in the wild or cage in captivity where females are reared.
|Other Names||Chinese moon moth|
|Habitat||Deciduous woodlands, forests, and places where pine trees grow|
|Predators||Bats, and birds|
|Lifespan of Adults||10 – 12 days|
|Host Plants||Several pine species like Scotch pine and black pine|
|Adult Diet||Pine leaves|
Did You Know
- French entomologist described this species for the first time in 1897.
- This species is easy to keep in captivity and has also been crossed with the Spanish moon moth by a French entomologist group, the outcome being a beautiful moth.
- Their tails have auditive reflectors that can disturb the bat’s echolocation.