Did you know there’s an estimated 160 000 species of these insects called Moth. They’re closely related to butterflies and belong to the same order but experts think they evolved much earlier around 190 million years ago. Since Green moths often regarded as distinct and attractive insects, moths don’t always get the same affection that’s given to butterflies but as our list demonstrates there are plenty of green moths that are just as unusual and unique as their cousins. Here are 7 awesome and amazing green moth species
1 Luna Moth (Actias Luna)
One moment the Moth is sitting quietly on a leaf and the next it spreads its impressive green wings to show off their great size. It’s amazing how something so small can cause so much commotion.
After years of research on a rare moth, the government had come to an end. Described by Petiver in 1700, it was the first North American saturniid to be mentioned in the literature. The original name (Phalena plumata caudat) of Luna Moth, which indicated the long tails, was lost when Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus changed its name from a generic term to a binomial specific epithet luna in 1758. Finally, It gets its name from its moon-like spots.
Luna Moths are found only in North America so If you’re in North America, you’re probably familiar with the Luna moth. Luna, the name of the luna moth, starts as a hungry caterpillar, they never want to stop eating. Newly hatched, these caterpillars eat exclusively of the leaves of trees, usually paper birch, sweet gum, walnut and hickory. After a month of munching plant leaves, this insect called a caterpillar builds a cocoon. The insect then lives in the cocoon for three weeks and thereafter gradually transforms into a moth.
Differentiating luna moths can be difficult sometimes, but one way for people to easily spot them is by their wings. But that’s not the only interesting feature, this crafty critter has many more great qualities and features that make them interesting too. The critter doesn’t have a digestive system or a mouth, because of its lifespan, so they’re useless when it comes to eating. In fact, most of the time insects live for only a week after emerging from the cocoon.
An adult Luna Moth called the long-tailed green moth has a wingspan, which is typically between 75 and 105 mm from wing tip to wing tip and has green wings with a long tail on each hind wing. They also have an eye-spot on either their front or their back wings.
2 Oleander Hawk Moth (Daphnis Nerii)
The Oleander Hawk Moth is an insect from the lepidopteran family known as Sphingidae. They are also referred to as army green moths because of their bright green coloration. Some moths in this family have been known for their impressive flying and hovering abilities, which is why they’re so popular among people who love nature. The Oleander Hawk moth is indigenous to North Africa, Asia, and many parts of Europe. As the common name suggests, the larval form of Oleander Hawk Moth mainly feeds on ‘oleander’ plant leaves. They’re immune to the plant’s toxicity and can feed freely with no consequences.
The Oleander Hawk Moth is an insect with a striking appearance. There are only a few moth species with wingspans larger than 9 centimeters, and the Oleander Hawk Moth is one of them. Its comprehensive wingspan is approximately 3.5 to 5.1 inches long. It has gorgeous, distinctive patterns and colors, which is just one of the reasons why it’s so popular. Although their colors are often variable, a common feature for these birds is a mosaic (Mosaic is a term used to describe patterns in a design or artwork that have an effect similar to breaking up the colors or shades) of green and olive color patterns found on its wings, which makes them look like military uniforms. This is the reason they’re called “army green moths”. The Army green moth’s body is green with a black and tan belt across the middle. On each wing, there are visible eye spots. There are brown and white band lines on each wing as well.
There are a variety of different colors that caterpillars can have, caterpillars can be reddish brown, black, or mint and lime green. These Caterpillars typically have white dots all over their body. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a magnificent blue one! The larvae in this species exhibit unique pigmentation. There’s a large eye spot on their body that can grow in size which is scary-looking to frighten predators. As well as an oily horn on the back that is either black or yellow in color.
Oleander Hawk Moths are most active at dusk or dawn light. Oleander Hawk Moths feed on nectar from different flowers. When it comes to choosing a host plant, they prefer honeysuckle, vinca, petunia, and jasmine plants.
3 Green Forester Moth (Adscita Statices)
Moths are often considered boring in comparison to their more colorful cousins, the butterflies but they can also be just as fun! We often think that Moths’ dull color might make them seem plain, but that’s not true. They can be just as colorful as butterflies with stunning green colored wings and body – “The Green Forester Moth” is a mighty example of this. Green Forester Moth is a pretty little insect that can be enjoyed in open meadows and coastal habitats, throughout the Southern regions of Europe and the UK.
An adult Green Forester Moth has an 11-15 cm wingspan. This specific moth does not always have its brilliant green shade. The Green Forester Moth is named after its unusual color, which changes during the day. In an early morning sighting, it might have a rusty red color. By day, the creature’s green color will shine through and when night falls, it will change to red again. Researchers found a pigment in moths’ wing scales that gives them their brilliant color.
The Green Forester Moth is actually made up of two types of scales: black ground scales and coloured cover scales which have tiny holes (50-300 nm wide) and they allow them to absorb water through that little hole. When the water in these holes fills up, it subverts the light and rotates the green colored moth to a rusty red. What makes these moths even more impressive is their ability to change color so the researchers call them “Living Water Vapor Sensors.”
Caterpillars are asymmetrical multi-legged insects, and they begin their life as small, all green leaf miners. As they grow, they shift from being plant feeders to grazing the upper surfaces of plants. Caterpillars tend to stay low to the ground, but occasionally move on top of plants.
4 Green Carpet Moth (Colostygia Pectinataria)
Two distinctive things make the adults of this moth easy to identify. Firstly, their distinctive green color fades to different shades such as yellowish, whitish or even pinkish white with age. Secondly, they have forewings that are green in color when they first emerge. These belong to the Carpets and Allies (Larentiines) family and native to the Iberian Peninsula over Western and central Europe including the British Isles and East to the Altai Mountains.
Colostygia Pectinataria was first brought to attention in 1781 by naturalist August Wilhelm Knoch and it is also known as ‘Green carpet’ moth which is a type of moth belonging to the Geometridae family. The moth’s wingspan spans between 22 and 28 millimeters, with the color of its forewings providing a range of green to bluish green tones.
The wing pattern of the Spotted Green Moth shows a series of different colors that depend on how you look: at the wing base there is a region featuring brown and green scales that transitions to brighter green scales, with a wide and strongly serrated outer edge. The remaining scales are whitish-green or tinged brownish-green as you progress from the postdiscal region to the marginal region.
You might notice two dark spots near the front edge of the wing, Occasionally, it’ll even cross over the wing (as in behind the wing or leading edge) and one on the inner edge. In some older specimens, the green color may have faded. Like all caterpillars, the larva has tiny bristles and a body that can be long and stout. In most cases, it’s light gray violet in color and usually has many tiny black spots on its body.
5 Small Emerald Moth (Hemistola Chrysoprasaria)
The flight period of this species is from June to August and there are single generations each year. The European species of moth is a Geometridae family member, primarily found throughout Europe except for the far North and it’s beautiful and stunning wingspan can reach up to 34 to 40 mm which is rich blue-green in color.
Small Emerald is a common emerald in Britain. It occurs in Southern parts of the country, and becomes rarer to the North of Midlands. Its food plant grows on chalk downs and limestone soil where you’ll find them in woodland margins. The wings of the Small Emerald Moth are slightly rounded, for more powerful, faster flight. The color fades from green to white shades over time as the moth gets older, but these particular markings are white and the forewings are bluish green.
Once we recognize the larva, it is easy to identify it from other Clematis feeders. The larva of the Clematis feeder is easily distinguished from other butterfly and moth larvae by the pair of forward pointing cones on thoracic segment one, the head divided into two cones, and its many small white warts.
6 Large Emerald Moth (Geometra Papilionaria)
The Large Emerald is eye-catching, easily identifiable by its large size and the scalloped edge of the wings or butterfly-like appearance. The Large Emerald moth is a green insect that can be found throughout most of the UK. The green color never fades as in most emeralds, and white cross-lines are scalloped with lines of white dots under the wings and also known for having smooth surfaces. In addition to being commonly found during the day, adults can also be seen at night, with wings spread and raised at an angle similar to a butterfly.
They fly in areas of minimal light and at times are even seen high in the tree canopy on warm, sunny days. Many of them thrive in a wide variety of habitats, which include woodland, scrubby heathland, and grassland. They also interface well with hedgerows, gardens and parks. Adults’ wingspan can reach up to 3.5 cm, which is very smaller than birds’ wings. They are dark green and scalloped with thin white margins throughout them. Each of the wings has 2 thin lines that start as similar veins and then to thin transverse ones at the ends which is wavy creamy yellow colored.
Caterpillars are brown in their early stages, but they start to turn green and with bumps as they overwinter. They primarily eat birch leaves when hibernating. They are not spotted by predators as easily because they are already well camouflaged, but hide themselves even more by placing tiny pieces of bark on their body.
When the caterpillars go out to forage for food, they become active again in the spring. When they’re fully fed, they go on to pupate amongst leaf litter on the ground, ready to make an appearance as adults in the summertime.
7 Lime Hawk-Moth (Mimas Tiliae)
A pretty looking species of Hawk Moth that is also known as Mimas tiliae, lives in deciduous woodland areas. Recent sightings of these moths in urban areas have been increasing, like in parks and gardens. These moths are naturally night-time fliers and native to Uk or Europe. Despite their nighttime habits, they won’t mind visiting your garden if you leave the porch light on one summer evening.
Moths in captivity may be similar in shape, but it’s important to always remember that these are moths and not butterflies. Mature moths are easily identifiable because they have fluffy, buff, khaki bodies with varied wings. Their maximum wing span is 8 centimeters and their body is made of a variable mixture of greens, browns and pinks. Females are often identified as having more browns, buffs and pinks in their coloring compared to males. They both (male and female) have scalloped wingtips that can be seen by viewing them from above. Males typically have more brighter colors that really stand out in the sky.
This species of moth has a main, traverse, dark central bar on their forewings which is sometimes broken or completely missing. A common type of moth, usually found in urban environments, it is often spotted but rarely feeds. It will hide in areas like walls and tree trunks, as well as on plants with lime foliage.
Depending on the species, Caterpillars lengths can reach max up to 6.5cm and they’re often green with yellow/green and blue stripes. They also have a curved, distinctive tail horn. These are some interesting structures. Common examples of these structures include the mane, wings and the tail. Some rarer forms have red and yellow spots. When they approach their cocoon stage, the colors turn a pale purple-gray covered with white speckles.