Polyphemus Moth
( Antheraea polyphemus )


2011-0507-NR240000-LEP00472-Antheraea_polyphemus[0927h18s,H,A,handheld]{ADonohue}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Antheraea polyphemus
(Cramer ,1776 )
Common Name:Polyphemus Moth
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Saturniidae
Subfamily:Saturniinae
Tribe:Saturniini
Genus:Antheraea
Taxon Code:LEP00472
ITIS/TSN:189057

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
0000, 7001 California 128, Napa
County:Napa County
ECI Site#:CALIFMINOR

RECOGNITION
Recognition
"Adult: large, brown, with a small round eyespot near the middle of the forewing, and a huge round or elliptical eyespot near the middle of the hindwing. Males have much smaller bodies but much larger and more feathery antennae than do females. There is a lot of variability in this species. Larva: body large, bright green, with red and silvery spots below setae, and oblique yellow lines running through spiracles on abdomen; diagonal streak of black and silver on ninth abdominal segment; head and true legs brown; base of primary setae red, subdorsal and lateral setae have silver shading below; end of prolegs with yellow ring, and tipped in black"
Description
Adult: large, brown, with a small round eyespot near the middle of the forewing, and a huge round or elliptical eyespot near the middle of the hindwing. Males have much smaller bodies but much larger and more feathery antennae than do females. There is a lot of variability in this species. Larva: body large, bright green, with red and silvery spots below setae, and oblique yellow lines running through spiracles on abdomen; diagonal streak of black and silver on ninth abdominal segment; head and true legs brown; base of primary setae red, subdorsal and lateral setae have silver shading below; end of prolegs with yellow ring, and tipped in black
Wingspan
100-150 mm.

BIOLOGY
Food
Larvae feed on leaves of broad-leaved trees and shrubs, including birch, grape, hickory, maple, oak, willow, and members of the rose family. Adults do not feed.
Habitat
Deciduous forests, orchards, some wetlands. Adults (imagos) of both sexes frequent at lights.
Range
Widespread in North America: southern Canada southward. Most widespread North American saturniid: found in all Canadian provinces except Newfoundland. Found in virtually every one of the continental United States
Active Period
In southern United States, adults fly April-May and July-August (2 broods); in northern part of range, adults fly from May to July (1 brood). Larvae present March to November.
Development
Two or more generations per year in the south, one in the north. Cocoon (shown below) is often prominent in winter, left hanging from a host plant and easy to spot. Cocoons are also spun in leaf litter.

CREDITS
Photographer
Ann Donohue
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Species Antheraea polyphemus - Polyphemus Moth - Hodges#7757. (http://bugguide.net/node/view/427). Accessed March 12, 2016. .
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