CATERPILLAR CRAVINGS

Found only in North America, the luna moth starts out as a very hungry caterpillar. Newly hatched, this caterpillar constantly munches on the leaves of walnut, hickory, sweet gum, and paper birch trees. After about a month of filling up on these plants, the caterpillar builds a cocoon. The insect lives inside for about three weeks, then emerges as a moth.

The eye-catching critter is easily recognizable because of its wings. But that's not the luna moth’s only interesting feature. The insect doesn’t have a mouth or a digestive system. That's because it only lives for about a week after leaving the cocoon, and it doesn't ever eat.

BAT AWAY

Although luna moths don't have an appetite, they're a favorite snack for bats. To protect themselves from these predators, the moths spin the tails of their wingtips in circles. This disorients the bats so much that the moths are often able to make a getaway. Guess you could say they're winging it!

Luna moth range map
Insectopedia It’s a world of insects on this episode of Weird But True!—Fast Facts.