About animals

Saturnia polyphemus (Antheraea polyphemus) Eng. Polyphemus silk moth


Polyphemus Moth
Adult man
Scientific classification
A type:Euarthropoda
A family:Saturniidae
Bean name
ApIgeaea Polyphemus
  • Phalaena PolyphemusKramer, one thousand seven hundred seventy-five
  • Telea Polyphemus

ApIgeaea Polyphemus then Moth Polyphemus , is a North American member of the Saturniidae family, a giant silk moth. It is a yellow-brown moth, with an average wingspan of 15 cm (6 inches). The most remarkable feature of the moth is its large, purplish ocellus on its two hind wings. In the eyes give it a name - from the Greek myth of Cyclops Polyphemus. The species was first described by Peter Kramer in 1776, the species is widespread in continental North America, with local populations found throughout subarctic Canada and the United States. A caterpillar can eat 86,000 times its weight on appearance in a little less than two months.

Life cycle

The life cycle of a moth is many, as in other species of Saturniidae. She lays flat, light brown eggs on the leaves of a number of host plants, including: Betula (Birch), Salix (and you), Quercus (oak), Acer (maple), Carya (hickory), Fagus (beech), Gleditsia triacanthos (acacia honey) Juglans (nut), Pyrus (pear and quince) Prunus (plum, peach, apricot, cherry, etc.), sassafras , citrus , and Ulmus American (American elm).

When the egg is hatching, small yellow caterpillars appear. At the age of the caterpillars, they molt five times (the fifth creature into a chrysalis). Each age stage is slightly different, but at their fifth and final age, they become bright green with silver spots on their sides. They feed heavily on their host plants and can grow up to 3-4 in length. Then they spin cocoons of brown silk, usually wrapped in the leaves of the host plant.

Two broods usually hatch each year throughout the United States, one in early spring and one in late summer. In moths, eclose and then must pump their wings with fluid (hemolymph) to expand them. Females secrete pheromones, which the male can detect through its large, cirrus (cirrus) antennas. Men can fly miles to reach the female. After the moth’s helper, the woman spends most of the remainder of her life laying her eggs, while the male can mate several more times. Adults of this family of moths have rudimentary mouths, i.e. their part of the mouth has been reduced. Because of this, they do not eat and live only as adults in less than one week.

In captivity, this moth is much harder to breed than in other American saturnids, such as Hyalophora cecropia , Callosamia promethea or saturnia moon . Saved in a cage, the male and the female, as a rule, ignore each other, unless plant food (in particular, oak leaves) is present.

Caterpillar in Virginia, USA

Bottom viewed through the window

Hams after falling window

Sexual dimorphism

Differences between the floors of this species is very easy. The most obvious difference is the feathery antennae. Males have a very thick antennae while females have a moderately less thick antennae. Male antennae are used to detect pheromones secreted by Disconnected females. Another difference is that the females are slightly larger in the abdomen due to the laying egg. An unexpected magnitude of change occurs within this species. The color of the model can vary from reddish cinnamon to dark brown, but almost always a shade of brown.

In the late 1950s, amateur lepidopterologist Gary Botting hybridized with Polyphemus moth (then known as Telea Polyphemus ) from japanese oak peacock-eyed from Japan and later ApIgeaea Milittoy from India by transferring the pheromone-producing fragrance of female sacs " T. Polyphemoma To ApIgeaea females and letting T. Polyphemus males mate with them. The resulting hybrids were featured in his victory at the US National Science Fair exhibition "Intergeneric Hybridization Between a Giant Silk Moth." After Botting consulted with geneticist JBS Haldane and his wife, entomologist Helen Sperway, the Polyphemus moth was retrained, becoming ApIgeaea Polyphemus .


Parasitic insects - such as riders - lay their eggs in or on young caterpillars. Then they hatch larvae that consume the insides of the caterpillars. After the caterpillars pupate, the larvae pupate themselves, killing Polyphemus pupa. Compsilura concinnata A tachinid fly, introduced to North America to control unpaired silkworms, is one particular known threat to the North American native Polyphemus moth.

Chipmunks are also known to consume Polyphemus moth pupae, reducing the population significantly. Pruning trees and leaving outdoor lighting at night can also be harmful to moths.

Threat Response

Polyphemus moth uses protective mechanisms to protect itself from predators. One of the most characteristic mechanisms is the distraction of the display, which serves to confuse or simply distract the predator. This includes large peepholes on its hind wings, which give the moth its name (from Cyclops Polyphemus in Greek mythology). The eyes also affect patterns, subordinate patterns of distraction, used to mask using deception and mixing color. Most fright patterns bright areas on the outer casing of already masked animals. (Another example of using the fright of patterns is gray tree frog, with its bright yellow leggings. When it jumps, a flash of bright yellow appears on its hind legs, usually striking a predator from its prey.) A distraction model is considered to be a form of mimicry intended for predators , it is incorrect to direct markings on a mole of a wing. The pattern on the hind wings in the Polyphemus moth reminds that there is a large horned owl on the head ( Bubo virginianus ).


  1. ^"Polyphemus mole." Ag.auburn.edu. Source 2011-10-18.
  2. ^ Elkinton, JS, Boettner, GH Effects Compsilura concinnata introduced by the universal Tachin> (PDF).

Brands, SJ " ApIgeaea Polyphemus " . Systema naturae 2000 . Retrieved September 30, 2005.

Members' Notes:

On Aug 10, 2013, JohnyB from East Ridge, TN wrote:

Sadly found it after it had expended all it's Energy. Still removed it from the old Spider Web and let it expire on a close by Bush.

On Jul 13, 2013, themikesmom from Concord, NC wrote:

This is a huge, gigantic and very very beautiful species of moth!

On Jul 29, 2009, sadieshae from Conroe, TX wrote:

I had one of these fly in my back door one night and scared the willys out of me, he was so huge! Don't know where he went from there, never could find him.

On Apr 3, 2008, LarissaH from Garland, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Beautiful, so sad to look at and know it's not going to live long as an adult.

On Jun 22, 2007, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

While the caterpillars do feed on the trees and shrubs listed above, they are generally never present in large enough numbers to cause any damage. The adults have no functional mouth parts, they breed and die. they do not feed.

This is the most widespread of the Saturnid moths, occurring all across the US and Canada, except for AZ and NV, and Newfoundland.

The name Polyphemus comes from the Odyssey of Homer. He was the Giant one-eyed Cyclops. This refers to the large eye spots on the hind wings of this moth.

On Aug 7, 2006, judycooksey from Pocahontas, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

It is not a friend of the gardener therefore it was relocated to a tree deep in the woods.

It feeds on many trees and shrubs, including
Blueberries, Brapes, Oaks, Maples, Pines, Birches, American Hornbeam, Hawthorns, American Beech, Ash, Witch Hazel, Black Walnut, Yellow Poplar, Black Cherry, Quaking Aspen, Elderberry, Alders, Sassafras, Willows, Hickories, Elms, Chestnuts

Sexual dimorphism

Differentiation between the sexes of this species is very easy. The most noticeable difference is plumose antennas. Men have very thick antennas, while women have moderately less thick antennas. Male antennas are used to detect pheromones released by unmarried women. Another difference is that women are slightly larger in the abdomen due to egg transfer. An amazing amount of change occurs within this species. Colored patterns can range from reddish cinnamon to dark brown, but are almost always a shade of brown.

In the late 1950s, lepidopterist Gary Botting the amateur crossed polyphemus moth (then known as Telea polyphemus) from Antheraea yamamai from Japan and later Antheraea mylitta from India, passing pheromone-producing fragrance pouches from a womanT. polyphemus»Women Antheraea and letting T. polyphemus men mate with them. The resultant hybrids were featured in his victory at the American National Science Fair Fair "Intergeneric Hybridization Among Giant Silkworms." After Botting consulted with genetic statistician J.B.S. Holden and his wife, entomologist Helen Spurvey, polyphemus moth was reclassified, becoming Antheraea polyphemus.


Eggs Image: Antheraea polyphemus sjh. Eggs JPG | Polyphemus

Image: Antheraea polyphemus 1st stage sjh. JPG | First-age-stage caterpillar bred on star oak

Image: Antheraea polyphemus 1st age stage 2 sjh. Jpg | First-instarcaterpillar

Image: Portrait of a green caterpillar (Antheraea polyphemus) .jpg | Polyphemus caterpillar

Female Image: Antheraea polyphemus sjh. Adult Moth JPG | Polyphemus female

Male Image: Antheraea polyphemus sjh. Adult Moth JPG | Polyphemus Male

Change Image: Antheraea polyphemus sjh. Modified Adult Moth JPG | Polyphemus

Adult Moth Image: Antheraeapolyphemusfemale.jpg | Polyphemus feminine

Adult Moths Image: Antheraeapolyphemusmating.jpg | Polyphemus Mating

Image: PolyphemusFlashingJune6th2009.png | Polyphemus showing distractions show

mole image: Polyphemus_Moth_Top_View.jpg | Polyphemus with a quarter for size reference

Moth Charm image: Polyphemus_Moth_Mug_Shot.jpg | Polyphemus shot


Moth pests have become a huge problem. Parasitic insects such as some species of wasps and flies lay their eggs in or on young caterpillars. The eggs then hatch into larvae that consume the insides of the caterpillars. As soon as the caterpillars pupate, the larvae pupate themselves, killing the polyphemus pupa. Proteins were also known to consume pupae of polyphemus moths, reducing the population significantly. Pruning trees and leaving outdoor lighting at night can also be harmful to moths.