Polyphemus Moth at Lost Lake Nature Park

While pulling seedlings of woody invasive plants at Lost Lake Nature Park, the stewardship crew found a polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus)! As you can see from the picture, these are big moths! In fact, with a wingspan up to 5 1/2 inches, polyphemus moths are one of the the largest moths in North America. The caterpillars feed on vegetation, but the adult moths do not eat. In their short adult phase, male moths use pheremones to locate a female moth. After they find each other, moths reproduce and die. This moth is missing a few pieces of its wings. What a cool find!

The stewardship crew found a Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) yesterday. Note Jonah's hand for scale. Photo by Alex Kriebel.

The stewardship crew found a Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) yesterday. Note Jonah’s hand for scale. Photo by Alex Kriebel.

***EDITED: Thanks to Mary Speyer for identifying the moth as a Polyphemus Moth, not a Cecropia Moth as I originally said.