University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Mystery Bug Answers


Mystery Picture #18

(Mystery Pictures)(Mystery Pictures)


This beautiful Luna Moth has a wingspan of 3 to 5 inches and is one of the larger silk moths in North America. It usually flies at night and can be seen flying around streetlights and other lighted areas during the summer months. The larvae of the luna moth feed on a variety of trees including: alder, beeches, cherries, hazelnut, hickories, pecan, sweetgum, and willow.


Katydids, though large (2 -2 1/2 inches long), look just like a leaf and easily hide from their enemies. If a katydid stands very still, it is difficult to pick it out from the leaves of the trees and shrubs that it feeds on. Males have flat, round "eardrums" called tympana on their front legs. Females have flat swordlike ovipositors at the tip of their abdomen that are used to deposit eggs into plant tissue. The katydid's name comes from the song that it sings: katy-did, katy-did.

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