About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Photo Share: Big moth with eyes on the wings

I saw this moth when I came in this morning at the Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, MI. I looked up “moth with eyes on their wings” and found the Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus), a the giant 6 inch silk moth. Wikipedia writes that the most notable feature of the moth is its large, purplish eyespots on its two hindwings. The eye spots are where it gets its name – from the Greek myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus.

The species is widespread in continental North America. Differentiating between sexes of this species is very easy. The most obvious difference is the plumose antennae. Males will have very bushy antennae while females will have moderately less bushy antennae. The male's bushy antennae are used to detect pheromones released by unmated females.