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  • Polyphemus Moth - (Antheraea polyphemus)

    Polyphemus Moth - (Antheraea polyphemus)

    The huge, seemingly drab, Polyphemus Moth shows flashes of color when it opens its wings.

    Staff Writer (10/7/2016): This member of the Giant Silk Moth family is both large and furry. The antennae are also feathery. Eyespots on the wing are oval-shaped and have rings of yellow, black and blue in them. If startled, they will open and close their wings, flashing their eyespots as a way to disorient a would-be predator.

    They can be found in parks and deciduous forests in urban, suburban and rural areas. Like most moths, they are nocturnal and attracted to lights.

    Caterpillars are multicolored. Their soft bodies are covered in thin black, yellow and white rings. As it matures, it turns all white, retaining tiny black dots while growing 4 bristly spikes near its head. They eat a variety of plants and pupate on whatever they are eating.

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    Details of the:
    Polyphemus Moth

    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Polyphemus Moth
    Scientific Name: Antheraea polyphemus

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Saturnidae
           Genus: Antheraea
            Species: polyphemus

    Size (Adult, Length): 75mm to 95mm (2.95in to 3.74in)

    Identifying Colors: brown; white; tan; yellow; black; blue; orange; pink; ivory

    Additional Descriptors: furry, feathery, flying, eyespot

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.