American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A large, pale-green North American moth (Actias luna) having elongated, taillike hind wings.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A large bombycid moth, Actias luna, the most beautiful of North American insects, of a light-green color relieved by luniform eye-spots and by a broad purplish-brown or liliaceous anterior border. The body is whitish, with a brown bar across the thorax. The full-grown moth expands about 5 inches, and the hinder wings are tailed to the length of an inch or more. The larva is greenish, and feeds on walnut, hickory, sweet-gum, beech, birch, willow, and plum. The eggs are laid in small batches on the twigs. The cocoon is formed within a leaf, and in autumn drops to the ground, where it remains through the winter. The caterpillar is known as the luna-silkworm.
- n. entomology A large, green American moth, Actias luna, that has crescent-shaped marks on its wings
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) a very large and beautiful American moth (Actias luna). Its wings are delicate light green, with a stripe of purple along the front edge of the anterior wings, the other margins being edged with pale yellow. Each wing has a lunate spot surrounded by rings of light yellow, blue, and black. The caterpillar commonly feeds on the hickory, sassafras, and maple.
- n. large pale-green American moth with long-tailed hind wings and a yellow crescent-shaped mark on each forewing
- New Latin lūna, species name, from Latin, moon; see lunar. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It was painted sky blue to discourage insects, but a pale green luna moth fluttered against it.”
“Then presently a passing luna moth flashed open its great eye-spotted wings directly in front of Inman's nose, and he had mistaken it for some bizarre green dreamface thrust suddenly at him out of the dark with a message to speak.”
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