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An unexpected Luna landing in Sierra Gorda

21 March, 2013 - 14:35 -- World Land Trust
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Picture of a Luna Moth photographed in Sierra Gorda, Mexico

Roberto Pedraza Ruiz reports on a long awaited sighting of a Luna Moth.

Ever since I was a boy and my earliest days in Sierra Gorda, I have always looked forward to finding a Luna Moth (Actias luna). They seem to me such ethereal creatures, mysterious, with their nocturnal habits and incredible tails.

For almost 30 years I have come across their fragments - pieces of wing or tail - because birds such as tanagers prey on them.

Finally last Sunday, my patience was rewarded. I came across a Luna Moth in perfect shape, and the most willing model. She was resting in a sweetgum tree near where I live. The Lunar Moth feeds on the sweetgum (also known as liquidambar), so it was extra nice to find such a fine neighbour.

After the photo session we moved her onto a small branch and then on to another tree, as she was in full view of the trail. She hopped on to the stick and did not mind being transported.

I am as happy as if I had photographed a Jaguar.

More information

Roberto is Technical Officer of the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG), World Land Trust’s conservation partner in Mexico. Sierra Gorda is home to an exceptionally wide range of plant and animal life. This extraordinary biodiversity is due to the region's different microenvironments, which are caused by a combination of mountainous terrain and a wide variation in rainfall.

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