Polyphemus Moth
Location: Okotoks, AB
Date: June 12, 2007
           Photo 1

Polyphemus Moth

Common Name:  Polyphemus Moth

Latin Name:  Antheraea polyphemus (Cramer, 1776)
                        (R. Bercha, det.)

Wingspan:  10 - 15 cm

Range: Southern 2/3 of Alberta

Habitat: Deciduous boreal forests of northern and central Alberta and localized in prairie river valleys and parkland areas.

Time of year seen: May to August (Additional Sightings)

Caterpillar's Diet: White Birch, , Red Osier Dogwood, Willow, Trembling Aspen, Pin-Cherry, Hawthorn, Choke Cherry and Serviceberry. 

Other: A widespread species found throughout North America (except in Nevada and Arizona).  During daylight these moths rest hanging off of a branch with their wings folded over their back.  If disturbed the moth falls to the ground and flashes the topsides of it wings in an attempt to startle a would be predator.  The moths body is covered in short hair like scales giving it a furry appearance.  Female moths are larger then the males, conversely the males have larger featherlike antennae.  The caterpillars build dense silken cocoons upon reaching maturity and over winter as pupae before emerging as adults in the spring.  Cocoons can be found in fallen leaves at the base of host trees. (Haggard, 2006)


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