saturnidae

Polyphemus Moth

The Polyphemus Moth, scientifically named Anthera polyphemus (Saturnidae), is one of the biggest moths in North America, growing up to 14 cm wingspan.

It has brownish-yellow wings with a black and white, wavy line on each. It has a small, mostly yellow eyespot on each forewing (front wings), and larger blue, black, and yellow eyespots on the hindwings. Underneath, the moths’ wings look like dead leaves.

These moths are nocturnal, only flying at night. 

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Jay D.

Locality: Baldwin, New York, US

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Hyalophora cecropia is North America’s largest native moth, with a wingspan of up to 6 inches. The larvae are most commonly found on maple trees. Like all members of Saturnidae, the Giant Silk Moth family, the nocturnal adult cecropia moths evolved only to reproduce, lacking functional mouthparts or digestive system; they survive a maximum of about two weeks. Cecropia moths can be found as far west as the Rocky Mountains and north throughout Canada.

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August 12th, 2014

I found this gorgeous Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) in the parking deck when I was leaving campus around 4:30 and decided to take it home. I wasn’t sure if it was male or female so I kept it in an empty exo-terra terrarium just in case it was a female with eggs (it wasn’t, but I tried). The cats were so enthralled by the giant moth, I had to cover the container and put it in a corner.