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what are these bugs?
Hi!
My name is Sarah. Attached are pictures of some moths that I found mating on my husband’s car. I’m in Jacksonville, Florida the beaches area. Any idea as to what they may be? Thanks!
Sarah

Hi Sarah,
When we first sent you the rather truncated response with just the Polyphemus Moth identification, we had every intention of formatting your lovely photos and posting them. We especially like that your photos demonstrate a change in position and open and closed wing views. Thanks for your lovely addition to our archives.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

8 Responses to Mating Polyphemus Moths

  1. Sandi says:

    I have one on my dining room window outside of Winchester, KY so I guess they are all over the country. It is very beautiful.

  2. I found this very large moth outside my door on morning last year. It was dead. No sign of trauma, so it was a mystery.I have kept the beautiful bug in my china cabinet all this time. I would like to know more.

  3. LesliAnn says:

    Yes! And I just came across one on a juniper bush outside in western Washington State.

  4. Janet says:

    Yesterday I found mating Polyphemus antheraea moths and took a few pictures. I went for dinner and then returned to watch the moth and noticed there was only one of them. She ate him. His 4 wings were below her and no body. I have been reading about this moth but have not found anything that mentions the female eating her mate. Is this an unusual trait of this moth?

    • bugman says:

      Adult Giant Silkmoths do not feed. Our guess is that a predator happened upon the amorous pair and upon attacking and feeding, did not realize there was a second morsel to be had. Luckily the female survived and will be able to procreate, producing a new generation.

  5. JeannieB says:

    Here in Colorado Springs, CO, just before midnight on 6.20.14, I found this huge moth hanging on the wall under the porchlight of my neighbor’s apartment. I took several pics with a not so good cell phone camera. The next morning, it was lying upside down, flat open, on the downstairs porch of another neighbor. I figured it was dead so I tried to pick it up and it began fluttering. As I didn’t want anyone to step on it, I brought it home and put a loose cover over it. All of a sudden, it began jumping around and I took it back outside to fly away or die in its own time. It was on the ground and on the wall again this afternoon. Now, after midnight of 6.22.14, I cannot find it. What a treat to encounter this beautiful creature. I am glad I found out about it on your site.

    • bugman says:

      While many folks find it sad that large Silkworm Moths, including the Polyphemus Moth, only live a few days, it sounds like there is a good chance your individual will be able to locate a mate thanks to your intervention.

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