Subject: Polyphemus Moth?
Location: Southeastern PA
April 27, 2017 10:40 am
This moth was here most of the day yesterday. (April 26 2017)
We weren’t sure what type it is, then we saw your site. We think it is a Polyphemus moth.
Signature: Lori

Polyphemus Moth

Dear Lori,
You are correct that this is a Polyphemus Moth.  It is resting with the wings folded above the body, a position that is often cited to identify butterflies by distinguishing them from moths, yet it is a resting position frequently used by the Polyphemus Moth, perhaps because it effectively camouflages the Polyphemus Moth among dried leaves.  We hope you were able to witness the spectacular eyespots on the upper surface of the underwings.  When startled, the Polyphemus Moth will “open its eyes” which effectively startles predators like birds into thinking they are about to be eaten by a much larger predator.

Location: Pennsylvania

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