Male Polyphemus Moth

Subject: What kind of moth is this?
Location: Austin, TX 78731
March 21, 2014 9:38 am
Hi there,
On the night of March 19th 2014 I saw this little guy/girl on my window. The body was about the size of a large thumb and was very furry/fuzzy. It had leaf-like antennae and large full wings. When I turned the flash on my camera phone the moth closed its wings but was not frightened away. I apologize for the poor quality of one of the three photos. I was just curious to figure out what it was.
Thank you!
Signature: Kimberly Spears

Male Polyphemus Moth
Male Polyphemus Moth

Hi Kimberly,
You should have tried to see this male Polyphemus Moth from outside the house because his coloration is much more dramatic on the dorsal view.  The ventral view that you have provided most likely acts as a type of camouflage coloration that will blend in with wood and leaves, but the dorsal view includes dramatic eyespots, that when they are revealed, would likely startle a predator into sensing it was about to be eaten by a much larger predator with huge eyes.  The male uses his well developed antennae to sense the pheromones of the female, allowing him to locate her so they can mate and reproduce.

Thank you so much for your reply!
I just moved to a very wooded area and expect to find many little creatures out here.
Have a wonderful weekend!

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