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The Polyphemus Moth, Antheraea polyphemus, named after the huge cyclops Odysseus fought in Homer's "Odyssey," is one of the largest moths in North America, with the largest measuring to fifteen centimeters, or about six inches. The Polyphemus Moth is greatly characterized by the small round eyespots on the forewing, and the large, dark eyespot on the hind wings, both of which are usually visible at rest. The Polyphemus Moth is the most widespread silk moth in North America, ranging from Southern Canada, to all 48 of the continental United States. The adults do not feed, depending on energy gained while eating as a caterpillar. They live long enough to find a mate to keep the species going. The shiny "knees" are due to lack of hair, resulting in an exposed exoskeleton.
The Polyphemus Moth larva feeds on birch, grape, hickory, maple, oak, willow, and members of the rose family. The Polyphemus Moth is the most widespread silk moth in North America, ranging from Southern Canada, to all 48 of the continental United States. The Polyphemus Moth lives in deciduous forests, and many other habitats, making it a fairly versatile species.
The moth was injured when it was found, for unknown reasons. Taken in 2009 with a Canon Powershot SX110 IS. I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed experiencing this!