The huge, seemingly drab, Polyphemus Moth shows flashes of color when it opens its wings.
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.
Scientific Name: Antheraea polyphemus
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 75mm to 95mm (2.93in to 3.71in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.