21 responses to “Antheraea polyphemus”

  1. Faustina

    Wasn’t Polyphemus the name of the cyclops in the Odyssey? Once sees the casual resemblance .-)
    Any historical anecdotes?
    I do so enjoy the photos! Thank you.

  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Faustina – yes! Here’s the story of Polyphemus, and the connection is apparently the large eyespot on the adult moth’s hindwings.

    It seems like Greek myths are alive at UBC Botanical Garden these days.

  3. Chris.

    Very nice! The colours are so alive. Thanks

  4. zoe

    love those little feet!

  5. Stanford

    Anyone have any pictures of nepenthes?

  6. Faustina

    Thanks for the great links!
    I have seen a Cecropia and a Luna; I’m not certain about a Polyphemus…
    I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  7. Paul

    this fellla looks very like A eucolypti

  8. Jason Colberg

    Great photos. Thanks.
    Found what I, now, believe is the antheraea polyphemus yesterday afternoon in our backyard, Lake Forest Park (North Seattle), Washington. My 4-year old son and I set it on one of our houseplants. Just hours later it had made itself at home and begun spinning its cocoon. I am now trying to find out how long it will be before it emerges from its cocoon. Anyone know?
    Jason Colberg
    Executive Director
    Science Decathlon

  9. Daniel Mosquin

    This cocoon might be from this year’s second brood, and that this would be the overwintering cocoon given that it is autumn. I’m doubting that will be the case, though, since it is on a houseplant (assuming the pupal development is temperature-dependent), and you would see the moth emerge in about two week’s time – perhaps not what is best for the moth.

    For an enlightening account, see this web page – the author suggests exposing the cocoon to local conditions so that emergence will be timed with other moths.

  10. Tina Roberts

    I teach at an elementary school in Hampton, VA. Our students have been finding these caterpillars daily outside (we have beautiful oak trees on our campus). I found one tonight in my carport that had been blown down from a pin oak tree nearby. We may be seeing some amazing moths next spring!

  11. Jason Colberg

    I had posted the September 14, 2005 comment above about finding an antheraea polyphemus catepillar and having it spin a cocoon on a houseplant.
    Well today, December 3, 2005, it seems to have emerged this evening 11:00ish pm. Incidentally, I had accidentally left our heat at about 78 degrees (Fahrenheit for Canadian readers :-)). Anyway, discovering this this evening was quite interesting. I have just been working and I heard a light flapping on my office window. I looked up to find the antheraea polyphemus moth which is the size of a small bat. Anyway, it is very pretty and reminds me of one of my childhood favorites I had found in Montana.
    ~ Jason

  12. George Hachey Jr

    Where can translate “Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar” and other moths, and butterflies. From English to French?

  13. Daniel Mosquin

    Bonjour, George. Google Translate.

  14. Meghan Langley

    Just stumbled onto this discussion. I’m not moth expert, but I did incubate a polyphemus moth indoors over the winter once. I found him in autumn and overnight he built a cocoon in the gatorade bottle I captured him in. To prevent mold, I cut out the sides of the bottle to allow air to pass freely. I thought it would be best to mimic the natural temperature cycle as best I could, so I used a mini-fridge to house it through the winter months (November-March in Kentucky). The temperature was kept in the 40s. I remember that it seemed to be drying out so I started misting it with water to keep it from drying out. Around March I gradually increased the temperature a little each week over a month’s time. In April, I set the bottle out on my window sill.
    Ideally, I should have kept it outside instead of my turning my fridge into a laboratory, but I was in college and stuck in a dorm room.
    Several weeks later, I woke up at 3 am to the sound of wings flapping frantically at my window blinds. I really couldn’t believe the size of the thing. I definitely didn’t expect to be afraid of the thing, but I have to admit that it was a little freaky to have to sleep with that huge furry thing crashing around in the room.
    It was a very beautiful creature though, and I couldn’t believe how much larger it was than the cocoon. The antennae were amazing, so delicate and intricate.
    The next day I placed him in an aquarium (he was resting on the ceiling), and set him outside under a tree. In retrospect, I probably should have kept him inside until dark to protect him from daytime predation. Alas, I can only hope that it made it.

  15. Shannon Wood

    Hi there – A lady brought in a polyphemus moth (adult), that she found in her basement. We have it here – but I’ve realized now that it has no mouth parts so can’t event feed. I obviously can’t release it outdoors with 2 feet of snow – any suggestions of what to do with an adult moth???

  16. Daniel Mosquin

    Not much can be done, I’m afraid. It won’t survive to reproduce.

  17. Kira

    We, at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences, really like your work! We’d like to ask your permission to use your photograph of Polyphemus moth caterpillar in our entomology exhibits. Please let us know asap, e-mail to Kira at kirazh@gmail.com
    Thanks, and hope we hear from you soon!

  18. Daniel Mosquin

    Hi Kira,
    Sorry, I’m so swamped with work that I have to shift photo requests to being a low priority for me – and since these often have tight timelines, I suppose I upset a lot of people. If you’re still interested and can work on my timeline, let me know.

  19. karen

    My son is in entomology and is doing an educational display on the polyphemus moth. Does anyone have a dead moth they have found and would be willing to donate it to the box? He woul like to show the back of the wings camo. He has a pinned moth and a empty cocoon.

  20. Karen

    If anyone has a polyphemus moth to donate to my son’s box contact me at karenezimmerman@aol.com

  21. Daniel Mosquin

    Karen, there isn’t too much traffic on older entries. You might have better luck asking on BugGuide.

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