Polyphemus Moth emerges in New York

Subject: Polyphemus moth?
Location: Spencerport, NY
March 2, 2016 2:51 pm
Hello! We found this lovely caterpillar in the fall and watched it make a chrysalis. Today I found it alive and well and clinging to my Keurig in the warm evening sunshine! We are in Spencerport, NY and it is May 2nd. Rather chilly outside still so we are not putting it outside. We would love to know what to give to it for a food source to help it survive until it is warm enough for it to be outside. My kids are ecstatic watching the wings unfold!! As am I!
Signature: The Trainer Clan

Polyphemus Moth
Polyphemus Moth

Dear Trainer Clan,
While observing the transformations that occur during metamorphosis is a wonderful experience for both children and adults, we are sad that this particular emergence will not result in perpetuation of the species.  The Polyphemus Moth, like other Giant Silkmoths, does not feed as an adult.  Adult Giant Silkmoths only live a few days, long enough to find a mate and reproduce.  The females, and your individual is a female, release pheromones that the males, with their well developed, feathery antennae, can sense from many miles away, enabling them to fly to the females.  Keeping a cocoon or chrysalis indoors interrupts the natural life cycle, and the indoor warmth will cause early emergence.  Unfortunately, your female will die unmated as she will not live long enough for the outdoor weather to warm.

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