Project Noah Fun Fact: the Luna moth

For every day of National Moth Week, our partner, citizen science website Project Noah will be featuring a fun fact about moths.

From Project Noah:

Luna moth (Actias luna) spotted in USA by PN user ForestDragon.

The Luna moth (Actias luna) is a large North American silk moth that is covered in a lovely soft-green color with long tails on the hindwing. If you have ever seen a Luna moth, you probably can agree they are relatively clumsy fliers. A recent study published in this year suggests that Luna moths use these tails in defense of bats. Bats release sonar, or sound waves, in the process of echolocation to track their prey. However, in the case of Luna moths, these sound waves are interrupted by the hindwing tails, making it more difficult for the bats to track down the moth effectively. (Barber, Leavell, Keener, Breinholt, Chadwell, McClure, Hill, and Kawahara 2015)

You can participate in the global citizen science project National Moth Week! National Moth Week 2015 is July 18-26. Visit the website for more information and be sure to register a public or private event! An event can be as simple as observing the moths that come to a porch. During NMW, be sure to post your photos to our website and add them to the National Moth Week mission, Moths of the World!

References:

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/9/2812

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/luna-moths-gorgeous-wings-throw-bat-attacks-180954281/?no-ist

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