Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 7:04 AM
My husband found this moth outside of his work. He thought it was fake at first and tried to pick it up, to his surprise it began to flutter a little and then settled back to sleep. Knowing that I love bugs he brought it home in a shoe box to show me. I was able to take some amazing pictures before this amazing creature passed on. Someone said they believe they only live for a couple of days but they couldn’t remember what the name of this moth was. It is hard to tell in this picture but this moth is huge. It is significantly larger than my opened hand. His antennae look like beautiful ferns. We saved him , we really wanted to release him but he only lived for about 45 mins. Thanks so much for checking it out for me.
Tampa, Fl. USA
Dear Rachel Riot,
This stunning moth is a Polyphemus Moth, one of the Giant Silk Moths that do not feed as adults. Moths in this family, Saturniidae, only live long enough to mate and lay eggs, generally a few days to a week. The Polyphemus Moth ranges over much of the continental U.S. The antennae indicates that this is a male moth. The male moth uses his antennae to locate a female moth through her pheromones. The female moth has less feathery antennae.