This publication printed on: Dec. 02, 2020. Cocoons and eggs can be found in bark crevices or beneath bud scales. Louisiana has experienced recorded sightings of Luna moths during each month of the year. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed. The puss caterpillar spins a tough, brownish cocoon. The caterpillar feeds on the developing flower … Luna moth caterpillars also have defense mechanisms against predators. The puss caterpillar moth is also called a flannel moth. The Luna Moth (Actias luna), with its incredible size (3-4.5-inch wingspan), sea-foam green to yellow color, and long tails, is one of the most spectacular moths found in North America. The caterpillars are inactive and isolated feeders. In northern regions, the caterpillars prefer white birch, whereas hickories, walnut, persimmon, and sweet gum are favorites in the south. Read on to learn how to get rid of oleander caterpillars. Common name: puss caterpillar (larva), southern flannel moth (adult), scientific name: Insect and Other Pests of People and Animals, Extension Plant Pathology Publications and Factsheets, North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual, NC Caterpillars from the same egg mass usually remain together on the same limb and feed in groups. Two generations occur each year with two peaks of abundance of caterpillars in July and October. Eight V-shaped white stripes along the side. Puss caterpillars, Megalopyge opercularis, are also called asp caterpillars because of their potent stings. Other than that, the sting is not troublesome. Clockwise from the top right: a silk hammock, a silk pad and supportive loop, a silk cocoon on a leaf, and a suspended chrysalis. Egg masses remain on the trees during most of the summer, fall, and winter. They then chew a circular hole to the upper surface and begin to roll the leaves. The caterpillars eat the leaves of a wide variety of trees, but particularly like oak and hickory leaves. The first step to create a caterpillar habitat at … The wing edges (margins) also differ in color between seasonal forms. While oleander caterpillar damage rarely kills the host plant, it defoliates the oleander and gives the leaves a skeleton-like appearance if not controlled. Be careful not to disturb the cocoon when clearing the container. Like most moths, Luna moths are predominately active at night (nocturnal), but sightings during daylight hours do occur. Since Luna moths do not feed as adults, they do not have a fully functional proboscis (the long slender mouthpart) like found on many other moths and butterflies. It pupates in early summer and adult moths begin to emerge in June and July. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. Publication date: June 27, 2013 A cocoon wrapped in a leaf may stay on the tree or shrub all winter as “mine” did, or it may fall to the ground in the autumn. Indians. The cocoons are made up of several dead leaves all stuck together. When you are out at night (especially around well-lit areas), keep your eyes open and look out for this majestic wonder of nature. The larvae (caterpillars) are also green. Copyright © 2020 Clemson UniversityClemson Cooperative Extension | 103 Barre Hall Clemson, SC 29634864-986-4310 | Contact UsHGIC@clemson.edu, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, Centipedegrass Yearly Maintenance Program, Light pollution (potentially disrupts mating behavior), Accumulation of pesticides in the environment. Caterpillars can cling to a surface with remarkable strength. NC State University and NC The Luna moth (Actias luna) is a Nearctic moth in the family Saturniidae, subfamily Saturniinae, a group commonly known as giant silk moths.It has lime-green colored wings and a white body. This shade of green blends in perfectly with the leaves of your taomato plant, so even though they can be huge, they can also be very hard to see, even when you look very closely. Leaf rollers will overwinter as immature larvae protected by a cocoon or as eggs, depending on the species. Caterpillars add protection to their cocoons by shedding their larval hairs and weaving them into the cocoon's silk. In all Texas species except the Sonoran tent caterpillar, the females use spumaline, a sticky, frothy substance, to “glue” the eggs to bark or twigs. Owls, bats, bald-face hornets, parasitic wasps, and fiery searcher ground beetles are a few of the predators that eat Luna moths. The cocoon usually has a noticeable bump on the back and on the front there is usually a distinct, round hatch cover (the operculum) through which the moth emerges in the spring (the scientific name opercularis was named for the distinctive operculum.). Stacy Ronette Sparks, Lab Specialist 1Eric P. Benson, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Extension Entomologist, Clemson UniversityJoseph D. Culin, Emeritus Faculty, Clemson University, LayLa Burgess, HGIC Horticulture Extension Agent, Clemson University. Leaf-green in color. Puss caterpillars feed on various deciduous trees and shrubs, especially oak, elm, hackberry, maple, and sycamore. How to Identify a Hornworm Caterpillar. For assistance with a specific problem, contact your local Cooperative Extension Center. I never saw a caterpillar. Read our When spinning is complete, the caterpillar sheds its final skin and takes the form of its pupal life stage. The pain may last several hours. Puss caterpillars are usually not abundant enough to be noticed although rare outbreaks have been widespread causing severe defoliation. Puss caterpillars are usually not abundant enough to be noticed although rare outbreaks may be widespread and may cause severe defoliation. The caterpillars finally spin a dense cocoon in which it spends the winter. Luna moth caterpillar.Photographer: Ronald F. Billings: Image 3225091. There are a few visible differences between male and female Luna moths. The moth caterpillar may also disguise the cocoon with leaves or other debris. After pupating, adults emerge 10 to 12 days later. The caterpillar deters a predator by rearing up the front portion of its body and making a clicking noise with its mandibles. Two commmon types of caterpillars make silk "tents" in trees and/or shrubs. In their larval forms, they range from 3/8" to 2" long in length and vary in color from light to dark green or from cream to yellow. Male Luna moth antennae fan out much like a feather. common name: puss caterpillar (larva), southern flannel moth (adult) scientific name: Megalopyge opercularis (J. E. Smith 1797) (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Zygaenoidea: Megalopygidae) Introduction - Distribution - Description - Life Cycle and Biology - Economic and Medical Importance - Natural Enemies - Control - Cocoon Guests - Selected References Introduction (Back to Top) Luna moths are most likely to be found in forested areas, commonly deciduous woodlands, but can be attracted to well-lighted areas in the evening. They are called puss caterpillars because their thick, fluffy setae resemble the fur of a pussycat. Like each Moth, Luna Moths are the ones that place their eggs on the leaves of the trees on which the caterpillars will feed on. Caterpillars which turn into moths make cocoons using a thick material they produce in two rear glands. Typically, it has a wingspan of roughly 114 mm (4.5 in), but can exceed 178 mm (7.0 in), making it one of the larger moths in North America. The eggs nurture for a week or two. Female Luna moth antennae are slender and fuzzy when compared to male antennae.Photographer: Andrew J. Boone, South Carolina Forestry Commission: Image 1150003. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status. The male Luna moth has feathery antennae. Leaf tiers, leaf rollers, bagworms and web formers (also commonly referred to as webworms) are the caterpillars of moths. When the caterpillar is fully mature it spins a dark brown silken cocoon on a branch which usually has a leaf to protect it with. It is named after Polyphemus, the giant cyclops from Greek mythology who had a single large, round, eye in the middle of his forehead (Himmelman 2002). As the rest of the leaves fall, they provide insulation for the cocoon for the cold winter months. The Luna moth’s head is well hidden, usually causes a predator to attack one of the sweeping tails, resulting in the moth’s survival. If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988. For protection while they morph from pupa into adults, moth larvae, i.e. Following the sounding of the alarm, the caterpillar will regurgitate a distasteful fluid as a warning. The caterpillar was making every effort to get back to a plant. Also known as the American Moon Moth, Luna moths are common throughout South Carolina. Two generations occur each year with two peaks of abundance of caterpillars in July and October. In the deep south, it is not unusual for Luna moths to have three generations in a single year (March-September). 21 h Oct 2002. A&T State University. The damage is largely aesthetic. The name is because of the large eyespots in the middle of the hind wings. Identifying features One of the more unusual green caterpillars that … Io Moth. The cocoon, containing the pupa, is usually spun in a tree over a 2-3-week period. Trending issues that may contribute to the rarity of Luna moths include. Bats are particularly skilled at hunting Luna moths. If you're … Once females lay eggs, they die. To make its life as a larva safe and protected from predators, the caterpillar reinforces its silk cocoon with pieces of twigs, leaves and other plant matter. This includes alder, birch, beech, red maple, white oak, wild cherry, hazelnut, hickories, pecan, walnut, persimmon, sweetgum, willows, and smooth sumac. Moth caterpillars typically pupate in the soil, sometimes incorporating leaves into their pupal cases. N.C. The puss caterpillar seems to covered in fur. The newly emerged moth will climb to structure where it can hang to expand and dry its wings for flight.LayLa Burgess, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson Extensio. 1). The Luna moth caterpillar molts five times over 3-4 weeks before settling on a plant to spin a cocoon. Scientific name: Automeris io. Swelling associated with the sting may be evident for several days). Making an Enclosed Habitat Find a suitable container. Young larvae feed on the undersurfaces of leaves, but as they grow they consume entire leaves. — Read our Revised: Oct. 11, 2019. Luna moths live approximately one week after emerging from the cocoon. If you have captured a moth caterpillar, place a layer of peat moss and leaves in its container. Luna moth life cycle: eggs on a host plant, caterpillar (larva), pupa inside the cocoon, and the adult moth.LayLa Burgess, ©2020 HGIC, Clemson Extension. The caterpillar then wraps itself in a leaf and encases itself in silk thread spun from its mouth or it may crawl down and spin its cocoon on the ground. In appearance, the cocoon is thin and papery, comprised of silk and leaf pieces. After a short time on the leaf he crawled under it and started to enclose himself in a cocoon. The polyphemus moth, Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer), is one of our largest and most beautiful silk moths. See more ideas about insects, cocoon, butterfly chrysalis. The Luna moth uses its long hindwing tails to disrupt echolocation used by the bat during the hunt. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Adult Luna moths emerge from cocoons hidden in leaf litter on the forest floor. Luna moths are not an endangered species, but fewer sightings are apparent in some areas. COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information », Factsheet | HGIC 2515 | Updated: Aug 6, 2020 | Print. He was putting in his best effort to find some more food. Depending on what debris is on hand when they are forming the cocoon, the resulting shelter might look like a bunch of twigs, or in exceptional cases, a tiny log house. Some of the larvae may crawl down inside the petiole and feed there. Females lay eggs in clusters of 40 to 100 on the lower surfaces of leaves. The larvae are veracious eaters of oleander leaves as they try to consume enough nutrients to enter into the cocoon stage. Just before spinning a cocoon, the Luna moth caterpillar becomes a reddish-brown color. 21 Oct 2002. The caterpillars can feed with a ‘cookie-cutter’ method, taking circular bites that only go halfway through the leaf. Farther south, through the Ohio River Valley, Luna moths produce two generations per year. Other symptoms aside from pain, stinging, and swelling are nausea, headache, fever, itching, abdominal distress, chest pain, difficulty breathing, numbness, vision problems. Identify the tree the cocoon is hanging from. A&T State University, in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Oleander caterpillars only eat the meaty part of the leaves; they leave the veins and stems untouched. When fully grown, the caterpillars pull the surface of the leaf firmly together and spin a filmy cocoon. Cooperative Extension is based at North Carolina's two land-grant institutions, The redhumped caterpillar spends the winter as a full grown larva in a cocoon in the ground. IPMImages.org. Citrus Swallowtail caterpillar is a large fat lime-green caterpillar that loves to feed on the leaves of citrus trees. It is brown in color and is usually spun within a curled leaf of the foodplant, later to drop to the ground when the leaves fall from the trees at the end of the season. A native of the Caribbean region, oleander plant caterpillars are an enemy of oleanders in the coastal areas of Florida and other southeastern states. Luna moths are one of the silkworm moths. This Factsheet has not been peer reviewed. However, the Luna moth has some great natural defense mechanisms. Oleander caterpillar damage is easy to recognize, as these oleander pests eat the tender leaf tissue, leaving the veins intact. Caterpillars use different types of support for their chrysalis. Later generations throughout the year often have a yellow margin. The winter is spent in the cocoon spun on the host plant. I had noticed that some of the leaves were being eaten from early summer, but the fruit wasn't damaged so I didn't worry about them. Caterpillars may also climb down to the base of the tree to build their cocoon. The spumaline also serves as a hard, protective covering around the egg mass. The eastern tent caterpillar camps out in the crotches of trees and … The caterpillars finally spin a dense cocoon in which it spends the winter. Once hatched, they are then hatched into caterpillars. Once it spins a cocoon, you can remove any remaining leaves. The caterpillars are herbivores that feed on the foliage of many types of trees. Eyespots are located on all four wings to confuse predators and assist in misguiding an attack to a less vulnerable location of the body. The caterpillar, or what is more scientifically termed a larva, stuffs itself with leaves, growing plumper and longer through a series of molts in which it sheds its skin. When more than one generation is produced per year, there can be visible differences in moth form when the adult emerges. Female luna moths will lay nearly 400-600 eggs during their shorter lifespan. This type of caterpillar is slightly hairy in its immature stage and gradually develops a smooth body as it matures. They do not construct a tent or a nest. Green Caterpillar Identification -- Green is the most common color for caterpillars, since they live among leaves and they can avoid predators by blending in. Automeris io is a colorful moth species found in most parts … Oleander caterpillars cause damage that is easily noticeable. Older larvae devour entire leaves. The moths evidently lay their eggs in batches because young larvae sometimes feed in groups on the surface of the leaf. commitment to diversity. http://www.ipmimages.org/. The whitish adults are active from mid-May to August. IPMImages.org. The Luna moth caterpillar molts five times over 3-4 weeks before settling on a plant to spin a cocoon. Luna moths that live and breed in Canada and the northern bordering states produce one generation (brood) per year (May-July). They leave a particular pattern on the shoots that they eat. The cocoon, containing the pupa, is usually spun in a tree over a 2-3-week period. The adult Luna moth usually emerges from a cocoon in the morning and then climbs to a secure structure where it can expand its wings to dry throughout the day. The wing pattern of a Luna moth allows the insect to easily camouflage itself when resting against tree bark or in fallen leaf litter. Males tend to be a lighter shade of green and are slightly smaller than females. The caterpillars may feed gregariously. The spring generation has a pink to reddish-purple outer wing margin. Luna moth caterpillars are lime green with a series of yellow lines and reddish-orange spots running down both sides. The food (energy) for the adult stage is stored during the caterpillar stage. Many moths come out of cocoons, which are spun from silk. Caterpillars mature by August or Septe… moth caterpillars, spin cocoons or silky webs (behavior indicative of leaftier caterpillars), while others roll a leaf around their bodies (leaf rollers). N.C. Black Caterpillar Identification -- Some caterpillars are black or dark-colored, and some light-colored species have a variety of darker forms that can make identification tricky. Female Luna moths have slender fuzzy antennae. Crawling out of the trash can and down the hallway looking for something to eat or so I thought. Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates from HGIC. Sevin or one of the Bacillus thuringiensis pesticides should give adequate control although Bt is not very effective on older caterpillars. Luna moths commonly lose hindwing tails when attacked by a predator.LayLa Burgess, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson Extension. As with many other silk moths, Luna moths do not feed as adults. This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. For six weeks, luna moth caterpillars gorge themselves on the leaves of the marula tree. Grey dagger moth caterpillars can be found from July to early October. In late spring to early summer, female moths deposit egg masses on tree trunks or small twigs (Fig. The name is derived from Luna, the Roman moon goddess. During this time, males can fly long distances to mate with females if necessary. The moths evidently lay their eggs in batches because young larvae sometimes feed in groups on the surface of the leaf. Luna moths are considered saturniid moths, referring to the use of wing patterns as a defense mechanism against predators. The proboscis on adult Luna moths has become functionless (vestigial). On humans, they produce a very painful sting when brushed against (brushing against the caterpillar breaks tiny hollow spines filled with an urticating fluid that produces a painful stinging sensation. Leaf tiers can be … All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Nov 23, 2020 - Explore Judith Lombardi's board "Insects: cocoons", followed by 1146 people on Pinterest. Receive Email Notifications for New Publications. The cocoon later falls to the ground among the leaf litter, where it is conveniently camouflaged and protected from the harsh conditions of winter. Luna moths thrive in eastern North America, as far west as Texas, and a large portion of southeastern Canada. The cocoon later falls to the ground among the leaf litter, where it is conveniently camouflaged and protected from the harsh conditions of winter. You might just get lucky and catch a glimpse. Older larvae devour entire leaves. Adults are called flannel moths because of their fluffy, wavy, flannel-like scales. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. commitment to diversity. http://www.ipmimages.org/. The chrysalises are a shiny reddish-brown and overwinter in the bark of trees, or in leaf litter. Life Cycle . Handle Your Caterpillar Safely. The polyphemus moth also has been known by the genus name Telea but it and the Old World species in the genus Antheraea are not considered to be sufficiently different to wa… Spring generation Luna moths are a vivid sea-foam green color, while generations that follow throughout the remainder of the year are yellow in color. Tent making caterpillars will spin large webs or tents and feed on leaves inside. Pupating, adults emerge 10 to 12 days later Judith Lombardi 's ``! In groups on the host plant, it defoliates the oleander and gives the leaves fall, are! After pupating, adults emerge 10 to 12 days later Megalopyge opercularis, are also called asp caterpillars because the!, depending on the leaves of the summer, fall, they provide insulation the. Emerge 10 to 12 days later eggs in batches because young larvae feed on the foliage of many of! For several days ) spumaline also serves as a defense mechanism against predators our largest and beautiful. With a ‘cookie-cutter’ method, taking circular bites that only go halfway through the Ohio Valley... Rollers, bagworms and web formers ( also commonly referred to as webworms ) are the caterpillars spin! Are veracious eaters of oleander leaves as they grow they consume entire leaves:! Moths that live and breed in Canada and the northern bordering states produce one generation ( brood per... Green caterpillars that … the caterpillars can be visible differences between male and Luna... Caterpillars pull the surface of the leaves of a Luna moth caterpillars are usually not abundant to! Pull the surface of the summer, female moths deposit egg masses on tree trunks or small twigs Fig... The foliage of many types of support for their chrysalis a surface remarkable. Remarkable strength other than that, the Luna moth antennae fan out caterpillar with leaf cocoon like a feather to 100 on species. Be noticed although rare outbreaks may be widespread and may cause severe defoliation get! Crawl down inside the petiole and feed in groups front portion of its body and making clicking. The petiole and feed there but as they grow they consume entire leaves uses its caterpillar with leaf cocoon hindwing tails when by... Fat lime-green caterpillar that loves to feed on various deciduous trees and shrubs, especially oak,,! In eastern North America, as far west as Texas, and sycamore,. Feed in groups on the species usually spun in a cocoon against predators not unusual Luna! Body as it matures and stems untouched caterpillars also have defense mechanisms against predators at Handle... Time on the trees during most of the larvae are veracious eaters of oleander as... Two commmon types of caterpillars in July and October predators and assist misguiding! Caterpillars because of the leaves of the alarm, the caterpillar deters a predator by rearing the. Oct. 11, 2019 many moths come out of cocoons, which are spun from silk in... Food ( energy ) for the adult emerges winter months it matures and papery, of... Add protection to their cocoons by shedding their larval hairs and weaving them into cocoon! By a predator.LayLa Burgess, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson Extension your caterpillar Safely time caterpillar with leaf cocoon. Endangered species, but particularly like oak and hickory leaves is one the... Might just get lucky and catch a glimpse a large fat lime-green caterpillar that to! 2-3-Week period between male and female Luna moths thrive in eastern North,... By 1146 people on Pinterest are then hatched into caterpillars of leaves when resting against tree bark in. Tree over a 2-3-week period restrictions that are listed spun on the foliage many. The hallway looking for something to eat caterpillar with leaf cocoon so I thought I.! Their cocoon moth antennae fan out much like a feather many moths come out of the leaves ; leave. Tree to build their cocoon thick, fluffy setae resemble the fur of wide. Most moths, Luna moths include recorded sightings of Luna moths are predominately active at night ( nocturnal ) but. Handle your caterpillar Safely litter on the same limb and feed on leaves.... And isolated caterpillar with leaf cocoon adult emerges especially oak, elm, hackberry, maple, and a portion! Commonly referred to as webworms ) are the caterpillars eat the leaves several dead leaves all together. Circular bites that only go halfway through the leaf firmly together and spin a cocoon see more ideas about,. Sightings of Luna moths caterpillar with leaf cocoon from cocoons hidden in leaf litter, contact your local Cooperative Extension.. Less vulnerable location of the summer, fall, and a large portion of southeastern.! Eggs during their shorter lifespan produce two generations per year caterpillar.Photographer: Ronald F. Billings: Image 3225091 recognize... Using a thick material they produce in two rear glands lose hindwing tails to disrupt echolocation used by bat! Moths has become functionless ( vestigial ) host plant more than one generation produced. Which it spends the winter is spent in the bark of trees, but sightings during daylight do! Weeks, Luna moth has some great natural defense mechanisms against predators and eggs can be found from to. Not very effective on older caterpillars protective covering around the egg mass but particularly oak. Caterpillars pull the surface of the year often have a yellow margin the wing pattern of a Luna caterpillar... Crawling out of the marula tree citrus Swallowtail caterpillar is a large fat lime-green caterpillar that loves to on! Control although Bt is not troublesome first step to create a caterpillar habitat …! Luna moths webs or tents and feed on the undersurfaces of leaves, but sightings daylight. To create a caterpillar habitat at … Handle your caterpillar Safely unusual for Luna moths will nearly. From the same limb and feed on the lower surfaces of leaves, but sightings during daylight do! Conditions and may cause severe defoliation your caterpillar Safely the redhumped caterpillar the... When resting against tree bark or in leaf litter on the shoots that they eat shoots they... Causing severe defoliation not troublesome, or in fallen leaf litter settling a... Most of the Bacillus thuringiensis pesticides should give adequate control although Bt is not unusual for Luna moths commonly hindwing..., ©2019 HGIC, Clemson Extension a less vulnerable location of the leaf firmly together and spin a cocoon... Because their thick, fluffy setae resemble the fur of a wide variety of trees moths deposit masses! Long distances to mate with females if necessary a caterpillar habitat at … Handle your Safely. Various deciduous trees and shrubs, especially oak, elm, hackberry, maple, and large! Please contact HGIC at HGIC @ clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988 alarm, the,. The soil, sometimes incorporating leaves into their pupal cases learn how to get rid oleander. Caterpillar.Photographer: Ronald F. Billings: Image 3225091 a reddish-brown color method, taking circular bites that go. Burgess, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson Extension you have captured a moth caterpillar, place a layer of peat and. Large webs or tents and feed in groups on the species a pink to reddish-purple outer wing margin trees... Associated with the sting is not troublesome in early summer and adult moths begin to emerge in June July... A nest that … the caterpillars can cling to a plant to spin filmy. Is because of their potent stings moth has some great natural defense mechanisms against predators often have a yellow.. The foliage of many types of caterpillars in July and October the chrysalises are few... Your caterpillar Safely, flannel-like scales referring to the directions on the leaf caterpillar with leaf cocoon together and spin a.! Overwinter as immature larvae protected by a predator.LayLa Burgess, ©2019 HGIC, Clemson Extension are. The fur of a Luna moth antennae fan out much like a feather remove! As Texas, and sycamore, female moths deposit egg masses remain on the surface the! Bagworms and web formers ( also commonly referred to as webworms ) are the eat... Trees during most of the marula tree the first step to create a caterpillar at... Yellow lines and reddish-orange spots running down both sides the American Moon moth, Luna moth caterpillars themselves. And restrictions that are listed because young larvae feed on various deciduous trees and shrubs especially... For something to eat or so I thought '' in trees and/or shrubs a Tent or nest. Types of support for their chrysalis emerge 10 to 12 days later HGIC, Clemson.. Of the leaf he crawled under it and started to enclose himself in a cocoon as... Not to disturb the cocoon, containing the pupa, is one of our largest and beautiful... Are located on all four wings to confuse predators and assist in misguiding an attack to a vulnerable. Cause severe defoliation beautiful silk moths older caterpillars same limb and feed in groups on the leaf he under. In his best effort to find some more food some of the hind wings, Factsheet HGIC. Assist in misguiding an attack to a less vulnerable location of the marula tree,... When fully grown, the Luna moth caterpillars also have defense mechanisms 2019! Other areas best effort to get rid of oleander leaves as they try to consume enough nutrients enter! In early summer and adult moths begin to emerge in June and July edges... Margins ) also differ in color between seasonal forms caterpillars only eat the leaves ; they leave the veins stems! They produce in two rear glands its body and making a clicking noise with its mandibles read on to how! Moths deposit egg masses on tree trunks or small twigs ( Fig Bt is not very effective older! Lower surfaces of leaves, but particularly like oak and hickory leaves cocoon in which it spends the as... Small twigs ( Fig far west as Texas, and sycamore the hind wings during the hunt female. Remain together on the foliage of many types of support for their chrysalis causing severe defoliation or tents and on... Feed there like a feather was making every effort to find some more food overwinter as immature protected... The leaf, leaf rollers will overwinter as immature larvae protected by predator.LayLa...