Polyphemus Moth or Oculea Silkmoth???

BIG, fat, hairy moth
Location: Prescott, Arizona
September 5, 2011 11:59 am
I found this BIG, fat, hairy moth attached to the outside of my kitchen window screen one morning. He stayed there for 2 days without moving. Not sure what he was doing there, but it was the weirdest thing. I’m guessing he’s a species of silk month, but would love to know more.
Signature: Dear Curious

Polyphemus Moth or Not???

Dear Curious,
At first we were going to write back to you that this was a Polyphemus Moth,
Antheraea polyphemus, a species that is found in all 48 lower United States, however, we had second thoughts on our identification because a closely related species, the Oculea Silkmoth, Antheraea oculea, is found only in Arizona and generally at higher elevations, making Prescott a possible habitat conducive to the Oculea Silkmoth’s needs.  The main distinguishing feature between the two species is the coloration that is visible when the wings are opened, hence our reluctance to identify a species.  Here is a closed view of a Polyphemus Moth from BugGuide, and one from an Oculea Silkmoth also from BugGuide.  We can tell you for certain that your individual is a male because of his antennae. 

Awesome!  Thanks for the quick reply.  I never saw this thing with its wings open – but the second one you mentioned (Oculea Silkmoth) certainly looks like my moth!

2 thoughts on “Polyphemus Moth or Oculea Silkmoth???”

  1. Six years later, another one attached itself to my house. Appears to be the same species as the last one. This time I was able to get a photo of the wing open but I’m not sure how to attach them.


Leave a Comment