Polyphemus Moth

Antheraea polyphemus


Conservation Status

  • The Polyphemus Moth is named for the man-eating cyclops, Polyphemus, from Homer’s Odyssey. The moth has an average wingspan of 6 inches, making it one of the largest species of North American moths. 
  • The eyes on the polyphemus’s back are known as a “startle pattern” and resemble those of the great horned owl. 
  • Leaving outdoor lights on at night has had a detrimental impact on moth populations, including the Polyphemus moth. Turning off unnecessary lights and installing motion sensors could aid the species. 
  • Host plants include native tree species of oak, willow, hickory, birch, maple, sassafras, beech, and more.