WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – LOPATCONG, NJ
This photograph, taken by Donna A. Fiore of the rural town of Lopatcong, New Jersey, captured this Polyphemus Moth using a Canon PowerShot A710 IS camera. The Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths.
The Polyphemus Moth is a tan colored moth, with an average wingspan of 15 cm (6 inches). 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 caterpillar of the Polyphemus Moth can eat 86,000 times its weight at emergence in a little less than two months.
The Polyphemus Moth is widespread throughout much of North America, from southern Canada to parts of Mexico.
Differentiating between sexes of this species of insect is very easy. The most obvious difference of these insects is the plumose antennae. Male Polyphemus Moths will have a very bushy antennae while females will have a moderately less bushy antennae.
It is therefore my belief that this is a male Polyphemus Moth.