Friday, August 14, 2009

Polyphemus Moth

Ten days ago when I met Jimmy for lunch he told me there was a huge moth at the plant and I needed to stop back by there to photograph it. Well, after lunch it was still in the same spot. It was alive, but not doing too well. I don't know what to do with a moth so after I photographed it we left it there, with intend of Jimmy getting it late that night if it was still there. It's predators had found it by then, and it was in pieces.

My main reference book (National Audobon Field Guide to Butterflies) does not include moths, so I grabbed the little Golden Guide from St Martin's Press "Butterflies and Moths". Right there it was, and it said...Polyphemus Moth, perhaps the commonest giant silk moth, was named after the one-eyed giant Polyphemus of Greek mythology because of the large eyespots on the hindwings.

Jimmy couldn't stand it, he had to measure it.
Hap from New Hope recommends "Butterflies of North America by Kenn Kaufman & Jim Brock and Butterflies through Binoculars-The East by Jeffrey Glassberg. Two nice guides to help with ID's." They will be on my wish list, maybe Jimmy will see a note laying around that I want these. :)
Earlier this week Jimmy told me he had me 2 dead moths that he was bringing home from the plant. One ended out to be a Tiger Swallowtail (he doesn't begin to know ids, he just likes), the other I have not id'd yet. He says the new plant is full of butterflies and moths. Maybe that is where all our butterflies are this year. They also have bats flying around in there.
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17 comments:

Sunny said...

Interesting markings and they do look like eyes! That's a big moth!
Sunny :)

Mildred said...

Thanks for sharing the photo. Very interesting looking. I hope you get the books on your wishlist - they sound great.

tina said...

That is one HUGE moth!

Sara G said...

That is one big moth. Glad you were able to get a photo of it.
I took a picture of our first visiting butterfly and posted it on my daily photo blog last night!
They are such pretty little things...or big things as you have proved!!
Take care and enjoy the weekend.

Shelley said...

It is a pretty moth! Sad that it didn't make it. Sounds like Jimmy's plant is graveyard for butterflies!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Leedra, I don't thnk I've ever seen a moth that large... Guess I have--but thought it was a butterfly... ha ha (I told you about my lack of knowledge on things like this!!!)

Hope you get the books on your wish-list. I'm sure that Jimmy will get them for you!!!!
Love,
Bets

Dorothy said...

Hi Leedra,
That is one BIG moth!! I've never seen one like that! We still are not seeing many butterflies here.

Rose said...

Its a beauty for sure! I have not seen this one in real life but sure would like to.

Dawn said...

What a beautiful moth, and it's so interesting what mother nature has given all the living creatures to help them survive. Course this one had a tragic demise.

Susie said...

Wow that's a big moth. Those eyespots do look like they are starring right at you.

Pam said...

What a huge moth. The photos are gorgeous.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

This is a pretty moth,too bad it didn't survive.I have never seen a moth this big either.
Blessings,Ruth

Diane said...

So beautiful! Thanks, Leedra for sharing it :)

~Cheryl said...

Big and Beautiful! "Eye" can see exactly why it got its name! Very intersting, and thank you!

JKoenig said...

When I was a child, I lived on a farm, and we had lots of those kinds of moths. Back then I loved collecting butterflies and moths. Now as scarce as they seem to be around here, I wouldn't dream of it. I thought moths were so neat because they were so furry, and other kinds also have "eyes" in their wings. That was one big beauty in your picture.

lisaschaos said...

I love these huge moths, don't see them often at all.

Mary said...

Its very pretty. Sometimes finding a dead one can be nice to really study what it looks like. Great photos and info.

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