Last time on the Pondemonium blog, we discovered the luna moths had freshly emerged from their cocoons, and were clinging to the side of their habitats. Yesterday morning, when we opened the studio, two of our luna moths were actually mating!
In the wild, the female luna moth will pick a hidden location to make sure she is safe from predators, and then release pheromones to attract her mate. Males can detect the pheromones from miles around, and are equipped to be much better fliers so they can wing their way to a calling female. Once they join their abdomens, they can stay together from a couple of minutes to up to 2 hours. After they disengage, the male won't live for long, but the female continues on for several nights, laying eggs in little clusters on various host plants like sweet gum and black walnut trees.
So before they could pull apart, we raced into full production to capture these two mating in front of a blue screen. This allows us to key in a natural forest setting during the digital effects phase of post production. In need of more set supplies we put our intern Owen to work painting more board chroma blue for the background.
After the paint dried, we delicately transferred the pair to a glass enclosure for filming.
Until next time!