Big (Polyphemus) Moths

Polyphemus 1

“I found this 12 cm (7 1/4 in) Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) on the surface of a convenience store parking lot yesterday at I-35 and Hwy 53 in Oklahoma. Its abdomen was incredibly fat! I scrambled to find something to put it in but could only come up with a La Madeleine bakery pastry box. I had no ethyl acetate to kill it with and could not bring myself to pinch its fat abdomen (a method of killing butterflies preferred by some collectors and entomologists). After arriving at my destination I discovered that the moth had flopped around inside the box mutilating its wings. This I feared would happen. However, in its confined excitement the moth laid about three dozen eggs inside the box!”

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© 2004 TIJ

3 thoughts on “Big (Polyphemus) Moths

  1. Hello, I have just been gifted with a beautiful polyphemus moth that my niece had emerge in their house this AM. I am heart broken that the reading I have done on the web this last half hour all says that these moths only live a few days. Long enough to breed and lay eggs. Unfortunetely, I live in central MN and our high temp today was -12* If this were summer, I would let it out. what do I do now?? I hate to see it die, but I think it’s inevitable…..right? Could the cacoon have been taken care of differently so as to “hatch” in the spring? Thank you! Kat

  2. hey,so i have alot of these moths visit me every other night at my home and i just took one in as a pet…..they deffenatly love the light im sure it may not live the morn.
    i am on the west coast u.s.a.

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