Polyphemus Moth

Polyphemus Moth
The Polyphemus moth has a wingspan of nearly 5.5 inches and is the second largest silk moth in southwestern Virginia, as well as most of the eastern United States. Like the Luna Moth it is nocturnal and can be seen flying around lights. Note the large eyespots that it uses for protective defense (a type of mimicry). The larvae feed on many trees including, hawthorn, hickory, maples, persimmon, walnut, and others. In late autumn and winter, the tough silken cocoons can be found on the ground or hanging from the tree from which they have been feeding.

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March 11, 2008