Location: Birmingham, AL
April 28, 2012 6:03 am
We came home this evening to find a visitor hanging out on our screen door. It’s about 5” across. It doesn’t have the ”feathery antennae” of male polyphemus moths, so I’m guessing it may be a female? Any help is appreciated! Also, it has stayed on the screen very still for several hours now, despite us going in and out of the door. Is this normal, and is the moth safe? Thanks!
Signature: T. Noland
Dear T. Noland,
Your identification of a female Polyphemus Moth is correct. A female Giant Silkmoth filled with eggs has a heavy cargo to lift, and since she does not feed as an adult, she is judicious about the expenditure of energy. If she does not mate, she will die without reproducing. If she stays in place releasing pheromones for several days, she doesn’t run the risk of falling prey to the many predators that would welcome a good meal provided by her body full of eggs. The male will be able to scent her out with his antennae. If she stays in place, she may eventually attract a mate and then she will fly off to lay eggs.