I was out checking on our bluebird boxes and nearly stepped on something pale green in the mixture of dormant and new green grass. It was a Luna Moth (Actias luna) desperately clinging onto a few grass blades 7" tall. It was whipping around in the wind said to be 12mph with gusts to 20 although it must have felt like more. In the picture below you can see it being lifted by a gust.
|Hanging on but almost airborne in the gusting wind|
|Male with large feathery antennae - Bugunderglass.com|
|Female antennae - REK|
The subject on antennae and pheromones alone is worth a book. An insect may rely on a hundred different pheromones during their lifetime according to Thomas Eisner, the "Father of Chemical Ecology." Those hair-like structures on the antennae are olfactory organs. There may be up to 60,000 on a single individual in some species. They are capable of sensing a single pheromone molecule from over a mile away. And there might be only one molecule in a cubic yard of air.
|Deformed tails of the wings, whipped by the wind.|