FloridaNaturePictures.com
Butterflies and Moths     

 



The Polyphemus Moth
Antheraea polyphemus

Polyphemus Moth

Here I am in my kitchen and I look out the window.
I see this big beautiful creature on my wood fence.
I literally dropped what I was doing and ran for my camera!

 

Polyphemus Moth

When I got close to it, she spread her wings in full glory.
At first I thought this was an IO moth because of the eye spots.
But, this was too big to be an IO moth.
The wingspan was at least 6 inches.

 

She let me gently pick her up.
She must have just emerged from her cocoon and had been drying her wings.
This is when moths and butterflies will let you pick them up. But it is also when they are most fragile.
The abdomen was very large and she felt so heavy in my hand.
This is a female because the males have bigger and fuller antennae. This is because the males use the antennae to detect the female pheromones from miles away.

 

Polyphemus Moth

 

Polyphemus Moth

Here is what the underside looks like.
Look at that huge abdomen!
Probably full of eggs.

 

This is a close up of the bottom eye spot.
This moth is so fluffy!

Polyphemus Moth Eye Spot.
 

Polyphemus Moth

 

One of the Polyphemus Moth's host plant is Oak.
Makes sense I found her under my big Oak Tree.
The caterpillars of these moths spin silk cocoons either on the leaves of the host plant or
in leaf litter on the ground.

Theses moths do not eat as adults and only have vestigial mouth parts.
Once they mate, the female spends her life laying eggs and the male basically goes around
fertilizing the females it finds.
These beauties only live about a week.

 

Antheraea polyphemus
Polyphemus Moth

Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Saturniidae (Saturniid)

South Florida
9/2011

 


 

Back



ButterfliesWildflowersOrchidsCactiFlowersAmphibiansReptilesInsects

Home
All Images Copywritten and Property of digitalwildlife.com