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Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Saturniidae (sa-tur-NEE-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Antheraea
Species: polyphemus (pol-ee-FEE-mus) (Info)


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Lakeside, Arizona
Mena, Arkansas
Brooksville, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Lutz, Florida (2 reports)
Oldsmar, Florida
Gainesville, Georgia
Divernon, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Sulphur, Louisiana
Millersville, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Windsor Mill, Maryland
Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Marietta, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Bennington, Nebraska
Argyle, New York
Holland, New York
North Collins, New York
Concord, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Blodgett, Oregon
Springboro, Pennsylvania
Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina (2 reports)
Chattanooga, Tennessee (2 reports)
Crossville, Tennessee
Pocahontas, Tennessee
Wartburg, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Denton, Texas
Dickinson, Texas
Helotes, Texas
Spring, Texas (2 reports)
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Bellingham, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Matewan, West Virginia
Show all

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